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About H. French Brown, IV
French Brown is a Florida state and local tax lawyer with more than a dozen years of experience practicing both with and before the Department of Revenue. French is the only Florida expert in this area that also lobbies the Legislature, which has resulted in him being involved with all major tax legislation in the State.
French Brown offers clients more than a dozen years of experience practicing law and lobbying in the area of state and local taxation. French provides legal advice on all Florida taxes including sales tax, corporate income tax, motor fuels tax, communications services tax, property tax, and documentary stamp tax.
French began his legal career at the Florida Department of Revenue, quickly rising to the position of Deputy Director of the Office of Technical Assistance and Dispute Resolution. There he oversaw more than fifty department attorneys, accountants and auditors in charge of legal guidance, agency rulemaking, and informal audit protests. Additionally, French served as the Department of Revenue’s Legislative and Cabinet Affairs Director and staffed the 2012 Communications Services Tax Working Group. In this role, he worked directly with Legislators, longstanding legislative staff, and the Governor and Cabinet offices.
Over the last nine years, he has been deeply involved with all major tax legislation moving through the Florida Capitol. Through his representation of some of Florida’s largest trade associations and taxpayers, French has directly worked on and advocated for tax legislation to benefit both companies and taxpayers.
During that time, French has passed dozens of pieces of tax legislation, which have saved his clients and Floridian’s billions in reduced state and local taxes. This includes more than a billion dollars in corporate income tax refund paid in 2020 and 2022, which was a result of unintended state consequences of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. He was also instrumental in Florida adopting remote seller and marketplace facilitator provisions after the Supreme Court’s 2018 Wayfair decision.
In 2018, Mr. Brown served as counsel to the successful constitutional proposal to permanently preserve the State’s annual ten-percent cap on commercial property tax increases, which passed by 66.5%. He advocated for his clients before the Constitutional Revision Commission in order to further sound state tax and budget policies.
He assists his clients with Florida tax planning and controversies before the Florida Department of Revenue and local Property Appraisers, while maintaining a professional and amicable relationship with those that he used to work next to at the agency.
Represents clients on state and local tax issues before the Florida Department of Revenue, in the Florida courts, before the Division of Administrative Hearings and the Florida Legislature.
Represents businesses before the Florida Legislature by monitoring and reporting on legislation, preparing amendments, testifying before legislative committees, developing coalitions and advocating clients’ positions to legislators and legislative staff.
Key Legal Services
- The Florida Bar Association: Tax Section (2007 – Present)
- Institute for Professionals in Taxation: Member (2013 – present)
- Leadership Florida Connect, Class 7
- Leadership Tallahassee, Class 30
- FICPA State Tax Conference (2014 – Present)
- Rotary District 6940: Assistant District Governor (2015 – 2018)
- Tallahassee Sunrise Rotary: President (2013 – 2014)
- Juris Doctor: Florida Coastal School of Law, Jacksonville, Florida, 2007
- Certificate, Environmental Law, 2007
- Bachelor of Science, General Chemistry: Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 2003
- Recognized as an Up and Comer in State and Local Taxation by Chambers USA- America’s Leading Business Lawyers, 2017 and 2018
- Honored as one of Florida's Legal Elite Up & Comers by Florida Trend magazine, 2018, 2020
- Honored as a “Rising Star” in Florida Super Lawyers Magazine, 2016-2018
- Moderator: 2020 Florida Legislative Preview with guest panelists Senator David Simmons, Senator Geraldine Thompson, and Representative Josie Tomkow, Dean Mead’s Legislative Series in Orlando, September 2019
- Featured among the speakers at the COST Southeast State Tax Seminar at Pfizer, Inc. in Memphis on June 27, 2019
- Lowering the Cost of Doing Business in Florida – Targeted Tax Reform, Florida Chamber of Commerce, January 2018
- Amendment 4 and Solar Development in the Sunshine State, Environmental and Land Use Law Section of The Florida Bar, May 2017
- Southeast & Federal Tax Legislative Update, FICPA MEGA Conference, 2016 (co-presenter)
- Transfer Taxes – Minimizing the Property Taxes Paid at Closing, IPT Property Tax Symposium, 2014 (panelist)
- Tax Issues Facing the Department and the Effect on Taxpayers, Florida Bar and FICPA State Tax Conference, May 2011 (panelist)
- Florida State and Local Tax Update, Florida State University Fall Accounting Conference, November 2010 (panelist)
- Rule Updates, FICPA Florida State Tax/ Florida Department of Revenue Liaison Meeting, November 2010 and November 2011
- Sales Tax Issues for Not-for-Profits, FICPA Florida State University Spring Accounting Conference, May 2009
- Report from the Front Lines: Southeast States Chamber Roundtable Discussion on Business Taxes 2022 Recap & 2023 Predictions, Annual Council on State Taxation, October 2022 (panelist)
- Represents clients on state and local tax issues before the Florida Department of Revenue, in the Florida courts, before the Division of Administrative Hearings and the Florida Legislature.
- Represents businesses before the Florida Legislature by monitoring and reporting on legislation, preparing amendments, testifying before legislative committees, developing coalitions and advocating clients’ positions to legislators and legislative staff.
- Served as Deputy Director of the Florida Department of Revenue, Technical Assistance and Dispute Resolution, and counseled the agency on a variety of state and local tax issues, including Florida’s communications services, corporate income, documentary stamps, and sales and use taxes.
- Counsels and represents corporate clients with Florida sales tax problems, including commercial rental transactions, real estate development, manufacturing operations, retail operations, construction, publishing, electric and telecommunications utilities, financial services, entertainment and hospitality industries.
- Advised study commissions and task forces on state and local tax policy, including the Communications Services Tax Working Group (2012).
- Quoted in an article entitled, "Florida Dems Urge Gov. to Halt $534M in Corp. Tax Refunds," published in Law360 on April 8, 2020
- Quoted in an article entitled, "Sales Tax Reliance Makes Fla. Vulnerable to COVID-19 Fallout," published in Law360 on March 27, 2020
- Quoted in an article entitled, "Coronavirus Shifts Tax Deadlines for Remote Sellers," published in Bloomberg Law on March 24, 2020
- Quoted in an article entitled, "In Florida, 99% of companies pay no corporate income tax — with lawmakers’ blessing| Special Report," published in the Orlando Sentinel on November 13, 2019
- Quoted in an article entitled, "Lobbyists for Amazon, Walmart and other big businesses are writing a law to collect Florida sales tax online," published on September 25, 2019 in the Orlando Sentinel
- Guest Columnist of an article entitled, “INSIGHT: Florida Corporate Income Tax Credits Help Recipients and Taxpayers Through New Law,” published in Bloomberg Tax, April 2, 2019
- Guest columnist of an article entitled, “Florida Tax Exemptions Are Available for Solar Farms,” published in i4 Business magazine, January 2019
- The 2016 Amendments to the APA: Say Goodbye to United Wisconsin – and More, Florida Bar Journal, Volume 90, Number 9, September – October 2016 (co-author)
- Sales Tax Building for Real Property Contractors, Florida CPA Today, May – June 2009
- Rebirth of CERCLA Section 107 Contribution Actions: New Life PRPs that Conduct Voluntary Cleanups After Aviall, 14 Buffalo Environmental Law Journal, 211 (2007)
- Florida, 2007
- S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, 2016
- S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 2014
- S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 2014
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