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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Rick Clayburgh, Tax Commissioner, 701-328-2770
March 14, 2002 Catherine Forsch, Director of Operations, 701-328-2783

Digital State Survey Ranks North Dakota Tax Department 7th in Nation

BISMARCK ---Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh announced today that the Center for Digital Government and the Progress & Freedom Foundation recently ranked the state of North Dakota in the top ten in the Taxation/Revenue category.

The Digital State Survey – a nationally recognized and respected study – examined eight distinct sectors of e-government:  Law Enforcement and the Courts; Social Services; Electronic Commerce/Business Regulation; Taxation/Revenue; Digital Democracy; Management/Administration; Education; and GIS/Transportation.

"This is certainly an important time for electronic government and it’s gratifying that the North Dakota Tax Department is being recognized as a leader in this area,” said Commissioner Clayburgh.

The survey included all 50 states and was designed to show who’s getting the most out of technology in each of the eight categories.  In the revenue/taxation category, the survey looked at the ability of taxpayers to obtain information, submit returns and correspond with revenue authorities online, and the ability of states to use digital technologies to store and retrieve taxpayer information.  Clayburgh attributed North Dakota’s high ranking to several areas, most notably the tax department’s new procedures and equipment to process tax returns.

“Using the latest in technology, our new processing equipment will take a picture of the tax return, process the data on it, and store it electronically rather than in a paper format,” said Clayburgh.  “This helps us increase our efficiency and reduces administrative costs.”

States web sites and services were reviewed and numerical scores were awarded that measured the ease of use, presentation and other criteria.  North Dakota ranked seventh out of all 50 states for 2001, up considerably from a showing of 39th place just one year earlier. 

“We made notable progress in the area of electronic services,” said Clayburgh.  “And we are dedicated to continuing this growth as part of our commitment to provide excellent customer service to North Dakota’s taxpayers.”

North Dakota was awarded 97.1 points in the current survey, a considerable improvement of 47.1 points over its year-2000 score of 50 points.   Indiana and North Carolina tied for first place with 100 points each, followed by Illinois, Kansas, and Wisconsin tying for third place with 98.8 points and New York in sixth place with 98.2 points.

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