Jack is the former Chairman of the Michigan Tax Tribunal. For 25 years, Jack has practiced state and local tax, a career that has included government and private sector positions as a Michigan Assistant Attorney General, Administrator of the Michigan Department of Treasury’s legal and hearings divisions and private practice.
Jack’s work primarily involves complex property tax litigation involving power plants, mines and large industrial properties. He represents several municipalities in “big box” appeals including the City of Escanaba in its appeal of the “dark store” decision in Menard Inc. v City of Escanaba, 315 Mich App 512 (2016), lv den. He authored the property tax appeal chapter in Real Property Tax Appeals in Michigan (ICLE 2010) and for a number of years taught the property tax class for Cooley Law School’s Masters of Law program. Jack is a member of the Michigan Assessors Association, the International Association of Assessing Officers and the Appraisal Institute.
In addition to his property tax work, Jack also represents taxpayers in state tax controversies. He has regularly presented at conferences for the Institute for Professionals in Taxation, the Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the MACPA and the Michigan and American Bar tax sections and is a member of state and local tax committees, the ABA’s State and National Government Law Section and is member of the MACPA’s State and Local Taskforce, the West Michigan Tax Symposium Taskforce and the Michigan Tax Conference Taskforce. He has been continuously included in Best Lawyers in America® since 2013. In 2013, 2014 and 2020, he was recognized as "Lawyer of the Year" in Tax Litigation and Controversy for Grand Rapids. Jack can be reached at (616) 726-2221.
Honors & Recognitions
Best Lawyers in America® 2013-2024 (Litigation and Controversy - Tax, Tax Law)
Best Lawyers in America® “Lawyer of the Year” Tax Litigation and Controversy 2013, 2014 and 2020 in Grand Rapids
"Top Lawyer", Grand Rapids Magazine, 2019 and 2020 in Tax Law
Memberships & Affiliations
- American Bar Association
- Taxation Section
- State and Local Tax
- Real Property
- Trust and Estate Law Section
- State and Local Government Law Section
- Federal Bar Association
- Western Michigan Chapter, Member
- State Bar of Michigan
- Taxation Section
- Tax Council, 2008-2010
- State and Local Tax Committee
- Real Property Law Section; Member
- Joint Taskforce on the State Real Estate Transfer Tax
- Grand Rapids Bar Association
Industry & Professional Associations:
- Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants
- State and Local Taskforce
- Michigan Tax Conference Planning Taskforce
- West Michigan Tax Symposium Taskforce
- 2008 Member of Distinguished Taskforce Award
- 2006 Partner of the Year Award
- International Association of Assessing Officers
- Public Utility Section
- Tax Collection Section
- Michigan Assessors Association
- 2017 Subscribing Member Award
- Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
- Tax and Regulatory Affairs Committee
- Michigan Chamber of Commerce
- Tax Committee
- National Conference of State Tax Judges, 2003-2007
- Appraisal Institute
- Building Owners and Managers Association of West Michigan, 2007-2010
- Streamlined Sales Tax Business Advisory Council
- Streamlined Sales Tax Project
- Governing Council
- Vice-chair of two working groups, 1999-2002
- Multistate Tax Commission
- Sales Tax Uniformity Committee, Michigan Representative, 1999-2001
- Litigation Committee, Chair, 2000-2002, Vice-Chair, 1999-2000
- Awarded 2002 Honorary Resolution
- Legislative and Tax Policy
Power Plant Valuation Experience:
- 15 years of experience in power plant valuation appeals as chief judge of the Michigan Tax Tribunal, presiding judge or as litigating attorney.
- Consulting to local units and attorneys in matters involving pollution control exemptions for power plants, tax incentives, personal property allocations and valuations of wind and natural gas.
- Representation of local units in power plant matters before the Michigan Tax Tribunal, the Michigan State Tax Commission, Michigan appellate courts and Michigan circuit courts.
- Power Plant Valuation and Litigation Strategy, International Association of Assessing Officer’s Annual Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana (September 15, 2015).
Power Plant Valuation Litigation:
- DTE v Frenchtown Charter Township, MRR DK No. 18-001811. The Fermi 2 Nuclear Plant, a 1,198 MW nuclear power plant. Representing Frenchtown Charter Township -- multiple tax years.
- DTE v City of Trenton, MTT Dk No. 18-001809-TT. The Trenton Channel Plant, a 536 MW coal-fired plant. Representing the City.
- DTE v City of Monroe, MTT Dk No. 18-002256. The Monroe Power Plant, a 3,300 MW coal-fired plant. Representing the City and Frenchtown Township.
- Consumers Energy v Port Sheldon Township; MTT Dk No. 16-001716. The J. H. Campbell Power Plant, a 1,450 MW coal-fired plant. Represented the Township.
- Fremont Community Digester, a 3 MW biomass plant using anaerobic digestion of food waste. Consultant to the City.
- Consumers Energy Co. v City of Zeeland, MTT Dk Nos. 14-002063, 15-001586, 16-001503. The Zeeland Generating Station, an 868 MW natural gas combined cycle plant. Represented the City.
- Wisconsin Electric Power Company d/b/a WE Energies v City of Marquette, MTT Dk Nos. 14-004609; MTT Dk Nos. 17-000856, 18-001227. The Presque Isle Power Plant, a 431 MW coal-fired plant. Represented/representing the City.
- L’Anse Warden Electric Co LLC v Twp of L’Anse, MTT Dk Nos. 392335, 436306, 454723; COA Dk No. 326067. L’Anse Warden Biomass Plant, a 20 MW biomass plant fueled by wood and tire waste. Represented the Township.
- DPS Juniper LLC v City of Jackson, MTT Dk No. 0453720. Jackson Generating Station, a 564 MW natural gas combined cycle plant. Represented the City.
- New Covert Generating Co. LLC v Covert Township (and Van Buren County, Intervening Party), MTT Dk Nos. 0399578, 12-000248 through 16-001888; 17-001737; 18-001312, 19-000863, 20-002115, and 21-001632. New Covert Generating Facility, a 1,159 MW natural gas combined cycle plant now operating in the PJM zone. Representing the Township and County in valuation appeals.
- Detroit Edison Co v St. Clair Township, MTT DK Nos. 0262065; 0262066. St. Clair Power Plant, a 1,958 MW coal-fired plant. The presiding Michigan Tax Tribunal judge for a one-month trial.
- Detroit Edison Co v East China Township, MTT Dk Nos. 0292795; 0292987. Belle River Power Plant, a 1,260 MW coal-fired plant. The presiding Michigan Tax Tribunal judge for a one-month trial.
Recent Blog Posts
Tax Law Blog
- Shining a Light on Dark Stores, The Michigan Assessor (Michigan Assessor Association), November 1, 2021
- After Menard Inc. v City of Escanaba, What’s Next for Big Box Store Appeals?, Foster Swift Municipal Law Newsletter, November 28, 2017
- Michigan Supreme Court Rejects Menard's Appeal in “Dark Store” Tax Appeal, Foster Swift Municipal Law News E-Blast, October 23, 2017
- School Funding Impacted by "Big Box" Store Tax Appeals, Foster Swift School Law News E-Blast, August 7, 2017
- The Impacts of Menards Inc. v City of Escanaba, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, June 30, 2016
- Bringing Light to Michigan’s “Dark Stores”, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, May 31, 2016
News & Events
- The Practicalities in Property Tax, MICPA: Michigan Tax Conference, November 7, 2019
- Troubleshooting Multi-State Nexus Issues for the Family Business Post-Wayfair, Foster Swift Collins & Smith, June 6, 2019
- Case by Case-Examining Real Property and Tax Compliance, MICPA: Michigan Tax Conference-Livonia, November 7, 2018
- Lessons Learned from Menard Inc. v. City of Escanaba, 2018 MTA Annual Conference: Michigan Townships Association, April 23, 2018
- 2018 Expert Insights Into Michigan Property Tax Issues and the Tribunal, Michigan, Appraisal Institute, Michigan Chapter, February 15, 2018
- Your One-Stop Shop for Property Tax, Michigan Tax Conference, November 8, 2017
- Foster Swift Attorneys Named 2024 Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers in America, August 17, 2023
- Foster Swift Attorneys Named 2023 Best Lawyers in America©, Best Lawyers in America, August 18, 2022
- Van Coevering Weighs in on PILT Contracts, EIN Presswire, February 9, 2022
- Foster Swift Attorneys Named to 2022 Best Lawyers in America©, August 19, 2021
- Nine Attorneys Listed as Top Lawyers 2020, Grand Rapids Magazine, December 11, 2020
- Foster Swift Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers in America©, August 20, 2020
- Foster Swift Participates at the 2020 MTA Conference, Foster Swift Municipal Law News, February 16, 2020
University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1987
Calvin University, B.A., 1982
Bar and Court Admissions
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
U.S. District Court for the Western District