Rhoades, Robert F.


University of Michigan

B.A., 1973

University of Detroit

J.D., 1977

Bar Admission


Robert F. Rhoades


Prominent Assignments

Property tax litigation in the Tax Tribunal, State Tax Commission Circuit Courts and Appellate Courts. Cases litigated have addressed:

    • Valuation of an integrated steel mill
    • Valuation of chemical plant real property
    • Valuation of chemical plant personal property
    • Valuation of the largest die-making facility in North America
    • Valuation of a cement plant, regional headquarters and R&D building
    • Valuation of Dynamometer testing lab
    • Valuation of regional shopping malls 
    • Challenges to property tax rates
    • Unusual and complex cases concerning unauthorized tax rates, exemptions of industrial personal property and rennaissance zone tax rates (Our client prevailed in each of these unusual matters)
    • Headlee challenges
    • Determining whether a charge is a tax or a fee
    • Taxable value appeals
    • Exemption appeals

Litigation of state tax assessments, such as assessments for state sales, use, income, and single business taxes and taxes on insurance companies. Cases litigated have addressed:

    • The Industrial processing exemption
    • Whether employee contributions to an insurer's employee benefit plan is a premium for purposes of the premium tax
    • Challenge of the former domestic preference premium tax
    • Taxation of royalties under the SBT
    • Challenges to SBT and income tax based of a bank based on the claim that the exemption of interest income from state, but not federal income was unconstitutional.
    • Nexus, PL 86-272, and apportionment issues

Assisted clients in obtaining tax incentives such as:

    • Industrial Facilities Exemption Certificates
    • MEGA credits

Professional Involvement

  • Member, American Bar Association, Member and Past Chair of Real Property Section, State and Local Tax Committee
  • State Bar of Michigan since 1977
  • Detroit Bar Association
  • Former Adjunct Professor, Wayne State University, State and Local Tax
  • Adjunct Professor, Walsh College, State and Local Tax
  • Instructor of certified continuing education courses for the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, Lorman Educational Services and numerous other tax related organizations


  • Author, “Is the value premise of the Michigan property tax still ‘exchange value’?” Michigan Lawyers Weekly, February 20, 2017
  • "Michigan Sales Use Tax", December 2011 (Kalamazoo)
  • MACPA Michigan Tax Conference, presentation on Multistate Taxes, May 24, 2011 (Sterling Heights), and June 2, 2011 (Lansing)
  • “Property Tax 2011, Chapter 5 – Local Government Attorney Academy 301 Series” presented by the Michigan Association for Municipal Attorneys, 2010 and 2011
  • MACPA Construction Industry Conference, "Evaluating Property Taxes in a Downturn Economy" a presentation on uncapping of taxable value upon transfer of property, October 30, 2007
  • MACPA Michigan Tax Conference, presentation on the Distinction between real and personal property and the importance of that distinction in determining Michigan property taxes and the new MBT credit., November 8, 2007
  • ICLE After Hours Tax Series, presentation on the Tax Tribunal Procedures, November 13, 2007
  • Council on State Taxation (COST), Regional Meeting in Detroit, Presentation "Update on State Tax Issues" November 3, 2006
  • Several presentations concerning the new Michigan Business Tax, 2007
  • Kent County Bar Assn, Presentation with Tax Tribunal Judges and staff on "Tax Tribunal Procedures", February 1, 2006
  • "Sales and Use Tax" Seminars for Lorman Educational Services, in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Dearborn and Troy 1996-2006
  • "Michigan Property Taxes", for Lorman Educational Services, July 20, 2005
  • Co-author, of the CCH publication, "Guidebook to Michigan Taxes, 2003" and RIA Michigan Guidebook, 2000-2002
  • "Property Tax Update", Michigan Assn of Municipal Attorneys, April 17, 2002

Public Sector Experience

  • Former Senior Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Detroit Law Department, Tax and Finance Section, handling city income tax, property tax and tax abatement matters
  • Former research attorney for the Michigan Court of Appeals