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DelBene lands on her feet as new Revenue chief

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on Nov. 30, 2010 at 11:08 am with 6 Comments »
November 30, 2010 11:24 am

Suzane DelBene
Fresh from her unsuccessful campaign against Congressman Dave Reichert, Suzan DelBene has landed a job with the Gregoire administration. The Democrat and former tech executive will head up the state Department of Revenue and its new mission of simplifying the tax code.

Incidentally, the press release announcing DelBene’s appointment came from Scott Whiteaker, formerly DelBene’s campaign communications director, who is now on the governor’s communication staff.

Here’s the announcement:

Gov. Gregoire appoints Suzan DelBene to be director of Department of Revenue

Agency to focus on simplifying tax system, collecting out-of-state taxes, launching interest/penalty waiver initiative
OLYMPIA- Gov. Chris Gregoire today appointed Suzan DelBene to be director of the Washington State Department of Revenue.
DelBene will lead the Department of Revenue as it simplifies the state’s tax system – a priority the Governor listed in her recent executive order to improve the way government serves small business. Washington’s sales tax is made up of a flat state rate of 6.5 percent and local rates, which are spread across 300 sales tax location codes. There are also more than 50 B&O tax classifications, and 39 cities with their own B&O tax rates, exemptions, deductions and thresholds.

“Suzan’s background with both large and small businesses will be an asset as the Department of Revenue works to simplify the tax code and reduce costs for businesses,” said Gregoire. “Suzan knows firsthand how the tax system impacts businesses and possesses the skills and vision to lead the agency through this transformation.”
In addition to simplifying the tax system, the Department of Revenue will increase compliance with the tax code by collecting taxes owed by out-of-state businesses and by offering interest and penalty waivers to businesses that pay back taxes in full by May 31, 2011 and meet other criteria.
“I know how businesses work and what government can do to help lay a strong foundation for the private sector,” said DelBene. “Simplifying the tax code and reducing administrative burdens will save small businesses money and time and let owners and employees focus less on paperwork and more on how to operate in this tough economy. This will help small businesses in all of our communities and improve our entire state’s competitiveness.”
DelBene has spent more than 20 years in the business world. She helped launch drugstore.com and then led a small technology start up. In 2004, she went to work for Microsoft, where she served as a vice president within the Mobile Division, and then consulted with Global Partnerships, a microfinance nonprofit.
She was born in Selma, Alabama. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Reed College and then earned an MBA from the University of Washington.
“Cindi Holmstrom has done an outstanding job,” said Gregoire. “Under her leadership, the agency focused on saving taxpayers and businesses money and simplifying payment of taxes with innovative programs like ‘e-file.’”
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Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. R_Ansteth says:

    So, the message here seems to be that when the voters reject someone the Governor gives them a job anyway? And her campaign communications director too?


  2. AreYouHighOrWhat says:

    Anyone that proudly had ILLEGALS canvassing neighborhoods for votes should make for an honest Revenue Chief, riiiiiiiiiiight?

    Washington State, where losing an election STILL lands you a good job (LMAOROTF)

  3. sunlover says:

    I think this was a good hire but this state has said they would simplifly the tax code for years under the Queen. I wish her well on a mission that I believe the Queen doesn’t care to fix. As the Queen has said she wants to help small business and her hire at the head of L & I just raised small business insurance rates up to 12%. What a sham this Queen is.

    Clearly the Queen favors those in her party that have paid attention to her and not caused her any issues. Hiring two of them while the state is in a hiring freeze – hmmmmm

    What does a hiring freeze mean? Does it mean we don’t hire at the bottom only more chiefs at the top? That is why we are where we are now with this budget. She should have just let the entire Dept of Revenue go and hire CPA’s to do the job – that would be helping small businesses.

    Offering considerations to those who should have paid and haven’t so we can collect what – a dime on the dollar?

    Break the law, get rewarded. This has always been our Queen’s motto.

  4. Proconsul8 says:

    Let’s have a top-down, centrally-planned, regulatory rule, bypassing legislation, initiative and referendum processes to fix our taxation issues. Oh heck, why not just have a 5-year plan, Suzan. Then we can all live and work on collectives in the Progressive Utopia you will construct. The municipalities have often been screwed by State construction and tinkering with what was allowed at the local level. Meanwhile, the potholes don’t get filled while we have boundary review boards developing taxation districts for flood control and Sound protection.

  5. MadTaxpayer says:

    OMG! The incest within our State is amazing.

    No wonder why things are so ph#%&ed up!

  6. ThinkForYourself says:

    The DOR director cannot simplify the tax system, and the Governor knows it. The legislature is responsible for that. Then why is she suddenly espousing “tax simplification” as an agenda item? Possible answer: it is code for something else.

    Right now, there is a huge budget problem that can be fixed by either tax increases or budget cuts. The only realistic way of simplifying the present system is to eliminate some of the various tax exemptions. (The other fix, a complete revamp of the tax code just is not a realistic option). By eliminating exemptions, you increase tax collections. Simple math.

    Maybe this is what the Governor is really up to here!

    PS: If you are the benefit of a state tax exemption, I suggest you get in touch with your state legislator and let them know how important this it is to you, as the Governor might be looking to eliminate it…

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