Noteworthy Women in Wireless Infrastructure – 2023

Jill Patterson

VP of Tax
SBA Communications

“In 2002 when I joined SBA, there was no tax department, and the company had previously been outsourcing the tax function. I remember my first day not knowing what a cell tower was and not recalling ever having seen one. At my new desk, there was a high stack of notices that awaited me, and auditors were urgently looking for a response to their inquiries.

As the years passed, and we began to understand how taxes were applied to our industry, our tax team grew as the complexities of our business grew. SBA began entering international markets, which brought additional challenges as we learned to try to interpret unclear tax laws; and we became accustomed to participating on calls with advisors that proved frustrating due to the lack of consensus among the advisors. In the indirect tax area, my team, over the years, has collaborated with the wireless industry in resolving property tax and sales tax issues and even gathering tower aggregators and the wireless companies together in person to discuss and help resolve issues of common interest.

Collaboration with our customers and peers not only helps us understand each other better, but there is a power in numbers to impact change; something we have experienced in the regulatory space with the support of WIA. Ultimately, by having a tax team that is determined, insightful, collaborative and engaged, we overcome adversities, which has only made us stronger, and building this team has been my most memorable achievement at SBA.”