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Case 1 – The Case of the Shrinking Margin


A multi–state retailer was experiencing competitive pressure, narrowing margins and increasing operating expenses several years after a management LBO.

During the period following the LBO attention was focused on increasing market share, unfortunately to the detriment of administration. Many of the administrative service previously provided by the parent company were not replaced and operating expenses were increasing. One of the services not replaced was an aggressive property tax administration program. During the period following the LBO little, if anything, was done to control the property tax expense....which was growing at a rate twice that of inflation.

As part of a company wide program to address the adverse conditions that were being experienced, property taxes were defined as an expense needing attention. After determining that neither the expertise nor desire to implement a control function internally existed, several national property tax consulting firms were interviewed. Ennes & Associates was selected as the exclusive representative under a multi-year contract to review assessments and handle all appeals.

The program proposed and implemented was E&A's comprehensive PROPERTY TAX REDUCTION PROGRAM. While specific tax savings goals were not set, management clearly indicated its desire to see a quantifiable impact on the property tax expense. Additional requirements were to have meaningful reporting and professional representation that would never tarnish the retailer's image.

Implementation of E&A's ongoing PROPERTY TAX REDUCTION PROGRAM has produced the following results during the first three years of service:

Tax Savings to date: $254,000

Percentage reduction of the property tax expense: 8%

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