Mark F. Sommer - Frost Brown Todd LLC

Mark F. Sommer

Listed in Best Lawyers since 1995
Phone: 502-779-8150

Now in his 28th year of private practice, Mr. Sommer's practice focuses on controversy, litigation and planning relating to tax matters, primarily state and local tax matters and incentives.  He has been involved as counsel in well over a thousand controversies and disputes successfully resolving  countless tax issues before the administrative and judicial systems of numerous jurisdictions, and assisted in hundreds of transactions and planning situations.

Mr. Sommer is a Fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel, one of only four from the Commonwealth of Kentucky and also is a years-long recognized "Super Lawyer" in Kentucky.  Mark has also been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America for twenty years in Tax Law and Litigation & Controversy - Tax.  He serves on several American Bar Association, Section of Taxation committees and projects, currently serving as Vice-Chair of the Committee on State and Local Tax.  He also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Paul J. Hartman Memorial State and Local Tax Forum at Vanderbilt University, the Journal of State Taxation, the Deloitte Center for Multistate Taxation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Bloomberg BNA Multistate Tax Advisory Council, the CCH Multistate Corporate Tax Guide, and State Tax Notes.

Mr. Sommer has written extensively in the area of state and local taxation.  His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including several Institute for Professionals in Taxation (IPT) publications, authoring the Kentucky Chapter of the ABA's Property Tax Deskbook, various Council on State Taxation (COST) publications, State Tax Notes, The Journal of State Taxation, Tax Notes, The Journal of Property Taxation, Bloomberg BNA's Multistate Tax Advisor, The Tax Lawyer, and still many others.  He also was the Contributing Editor of CCH's Guidebook to Kentucky Taxes (all editions), and serves as General Editor of Lexis Nexis Tax Practice Insights for Kentucky.

Mr. Sommer is a frequent speaker and lecturer on state and local tax matters at conferences, forums and groups such as IPT, Hartman SALT Forum, Deloitte & Touche Multi-State Tax Institute, Kentucky Society of CPAs, COST, Tax Executives Institute, Georgetown's State and Local Tax Conference, Ohio Tax Conference, Kentucky Bar Association, Louisville Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.  Mr. Sommer previously served as Chair of the SEATA Industry Council and also as a Director and Vice-Chairman of the Kentucky Lottery Corporation. 

Mr. Sommer obtained his JD from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and his BSBA from Xavier University.

Contact Mark by email at

Xavier UniversityBSBA 1985University of CincinnatiJ.D. 1988
National Association of State Bar Tax Sections (NASBTS)American Bar Association (Section on Taxation, Committee on State and Local Taxes)Federal Bar Association (Section of Tax)Louisville Bar Association (Section of Tax, including past service as Chair and other positions)National Association of Property Tax Attorneys (NAPTA)Council on State Taxation (COST)Institute for Professionals in Taxation (IPT)Southeastern States Tax Administrators AssociationIndependent SALT Alliance (ISA)Council on State Taxation (COST) COIN NetworkKentucky Bar Association (Section of Taxation)CCH/Thomson Reuters Kentucky State Tax ReporterTax Counsel Network (TCN)US Law Group, SALT CommitteeKentucky Chamber of Commerce and Greater Louisville, Inc. (GLI)LexisNexis Practice InsightsTax Analyst's State Tax NotesPaul J. Hartman/Vanderbilt University School of Law State and Local Tax ForumDeloitte Center for Multistate Taxation at the University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMultistate Corporate Tax Guide (CCH, a Wolters-Kluwer Business)Journal of State Taxation (CCH, a Wolters-Kluwer Business)Multistate Tax Report (Bloomberg BNA Tax Management)State Tax Notes (Tax Analysts)National Association of Railroad Trial CounselRepublican National Lawyers AssociationGov. Matt Bevin (R) Transition Team Steering Committee

Case History

Kentucky Department of Revenue v. Mark F. Sommer, Civil Action No. 12-CI-01582 (Franklin Circuit Court, Division II) — First impression issue on whether work product privilege applies in an open records case seeking publicly-filed tax case pleadings
Mark F. Sommer and Tax Analysts v. Finance and Administration Cabinet, Department of Revenue, Civil Action No. 13-CI-29 (Franklin Circuit Court, Division I) — First impression issue as to whether Final Rulings of Department of Revenue must be produced in an open records inquiry.
Chegg, Inc. v. Finance and Administration Cabinet, Department of Revenue, Civil Action No. 14-CI-170 (Franklin Circuit Court, Division II) — Whether leased property can qualify for warehouse/distribution center property tax exemption and whether collection bond is required in a circuit court review of a Board of Tax Appeals' decision
Dep't of Revenue v. AT&T Corporation, No. 2014-SC-000430-D (Ky.), reviewingOn Appeal, No. 2008-CA-001888-MR (Ky. App., July 3, 2014), rev'g Civil Action No. 08-CI-01272 (Jefferson Cir. Ct., Sept. 9, 2008) -- Whether a taxpayer may bring a declaratory judgment action challenging constitutionality of legislation without first prosecuting action at the Board of Tax Appeals
Dep't of Revenue v. Cox Interior, Inc., 400 S.W.3d 240 (Ky. 2013),aff'g No. 2009-CA-001691 (Ky. App., Nov. 5, 2010), aff'g Civil Action No. 09-CI-305 (Franklin Cir. Ct., Div. I., Aug. 27, 2009), aff'g File No. K08-R-02, Order No. K-20213 (KBTA Feb. 5, 2009) -- Served as Amicus Curiae counsel on behalf of Kentucky Chamber of Commerce in first impression case concerning the duty to recover via a refund claim tangible personal property tax paid subsequent to the expiration of the protest period.
Ford Motor Credit Co. v. Dep’t of Treasury, No 10-481 (U.S. Jan. 18, 2011) (cert. denied) — Served as amici curiae counsel on behalf of U.S. Chamber of Commerce in case concerning the constitutionality of retroactive state tax legislation
Ford Motor Co. v. Jefferson County Prop. Valuation Adm’r, File Nos. K08-S-166 and K09-S-338, Order No. K-20934 (KBTA Sept. 22, 2010)Second largest manufacturing plant real property tax valuation case tried in Kentucky
Revenue Cabinet v. Asworth Corp., et al. — Ky. Ct. App., Dkt. Nos. 2007-CA-002549-MR, 2008-CA-000023-MR, November 20, 2009, as modified Feb. 5, 2010, 2009 WL 3877518, cert. denied, Ky. S. Ct., Dkt. No. 2009-SC-000816 (Aug. 2010), opinion not published, cert. denied (U.S. S. Ct. Jan. 24, 2011) (first impression case on taxation (physical presence nexus and apportionment) of flow-through entities for Kentucky corporation income tax)
Monumental Life Ins. Co. v. Dep’t of Revenue, 294 S.W.3d 10 (Ky. App. 2008), review denied, No. 2008-SC-000739 (Ky.), cert. denied, No. 09-865 (U.S. Mar. 29, 2010)First impression action on ERISA preemption and ad valorem intangibles taxation of domestic life insurance companies
Johnson Controls, Inc. et al. v. Miller, No. 09-981 (U.S. Feb. 20, 2010) (cert. denied)Served as amicus curiae counsel on behalf of Kentucky Chamber of Commerce in case concerning the constitutionality of retroactive state tax legislation
AT&T Corp. v. Dep't. of Revenue, File No. K01-R-18, Order No. K-19978 (KBTA 2008), No. 08-CI-01272 (Jefferson Cir. Ct., Sept. 9, 2008), aff'd, No. 2008-CA-1888 (Ky. App. 2014), on review, Case No. 2014-SC-000430-D (Ky.)First impression case on composition of elective consolidated group for Kentucky corporation income tax purposes, Inc. v. Dep’t of Revenue, No. 07-CI-2018 (Franklin Cir. Ct. 2008)First impression issue of abuse of discretion and privilege standards in corporate income tax factor relief proceedings
Monumental Life Ins. Co. v. Dep’t of Revenue, 201 S.W.3d 500 (Ky. App. 2006)First impression issue concerning duty of administrative agency such as KBTA to develop and maintain administrative record
General Electric Co. v. Jefferson County PVA, Order No. K-18745, 2002 WL 31318636 (KBTA October 8, 2002)Largest manufacturing plant real property ad valorem tax valuation case tried in Kentucky
Inland Container Corporation v. Mason County Board of Education, 6 S.W.3d 374 (Ky. 1999)Served as amicus curiae counsel in lead case on ability to recover local tax overpayment from local taxing authorities
Herschel St. Ledger, et al., v. Revenue Cabinet , 912 S.W.2d 34 (Ky. 1995) & 942 S.W.2d 893 (1997)Served as amicus curiae counsel in landmark case on constitutionality of ad valorem intangibles tax exemption on corporate stock
Southwire Co. v. Revenue Cabinet, Ky. App., 777 S.W.2d 635 (1988)Lead case on net operating loss carrybacks
Joy Technologies, Inc. v. Revenue Cabinet, 838 S.W.2d 406 (Ky. App. 1992)Nationwide first impression case on application of sales tax to labor in component exchange program

Client Comments

"Mark F. Sommer has represented my company in a number of tax controversies. He has been able to settle issues with taxing authorities using a common sense and efficient approach. This has saved the taxing authorities and me time and effort by avoiding further efforts in prosecuting issues. I would particularly recommend Mark for Kentucky income and non-income tax issues. His staff is also very helpful. "

"I have worked with Mark Sommer since I moved to Lexington in 1996. Mark has represented Lexmark on several matters and always brings the highest level of professionalism, deep knowledge of KY law, and his many contacts to get the best answer on each issue. I have also worked with Mark on tax policy issues through the KY Chamber of Commerce, and Mark willingly brings his deep understanding of KY law to help promote a better business tax environment in the state."

"What comes to mind when I think of Mark Sommer is great advice in a strong teaming environment with our internal tax group. Ashland, Inc. has been using Mark Sommer for many years, and he has helped us resolve numerous issues."

"Mark Sommer has outstanding tax expertise combined with exceptional client service."

"Mark F. Sommer has represented Fifth Third Bank in a number of tax related matters before the Kentucky Department of Revenue and the Kentucky Department of Transportation. He has brought extensive experience and outstanding technical skills to each of these engagements and has a well-grounded understanding of the regulatory environment in Kentucky. Equally if not more important he has broad and deep personal relationships with many key individuals within the various Cabinets and those relationships have proven invaluable in fashioning favorable outcomes for his client."

Office Location

400 West Market Street, Suite 3200
Louisville, KY 40202-3363
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2016 Lawyer of the Year in Litigation and Controversy - Tax of the Louisville Metro Area
Mark F. Sommer has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2016!

Practice Areas

Litigation and Controversy - Tax
Tax Law (State and Local Tax)

Other Information

Race: Caucasian
Gender: Male