About the Tax Department
|Powers and Duties of the Tax Commissioner|
|Major Goals and Objectives|
|Functions and Responsibilities|
The Office of State Tax Commissioner has been in existence as a separate agency since 1912. During the period from 1890 to 1912, some of the functions now performed by the Tax Commissioner were handled by the State Auditor. From 1912 to 1919, a nonpartisan Tax Commission composed of three members appointed by the Governor, by and with advice and consent of the Senate, administered the tax laws of the state. In 1919, the Tax Commissioner was appointed by the Governor with the consent of the Senate. In 1941, the Tax Commissioner post became an elective office. North Dakota is the only state with a Tax Commissioner who is elected.
The growth of the Office of State Tax Commissioner staff has been proportional to the increase in the number of citizens affected by tax laws, the addition of new tax types, the increased complexity of tax laws, and the demands for added services by political subdivisions and the public at large.
The budget for the Tax Commission in 1912 was not sufficient to permit hiring the secretary which the legislation creating the commission had authorized. The first department staff member was hired in 1913. By 1928 the Department had grown to 12 employees. The Tax Department continued to grow and by 1995 the number of employees peaked at 157. In recent years, staff numbers have been reduced through attrition, through effective use of technology, and by streamlining duties and by finding efficiencies within the department. During the 2005-07 biennium the Office of State Tax Commissioner was authorized 133 permanent staff members. About 50 additional employees are hired on a temporary basis each income tax filing season.Chronology of North Dakota Tax Commissioners