News Releases

News Release

October 16, 2003 - Governor Taft Announces Resignation of Tax Commissioner

(Columbus) – Governor Bob Taft announced today that Ohio Tax Commissioner Thomas M. Zaino will be leaving the Department of Taxation at the end of the month (October 31, 2003) to pursue career opportunities in the private sector.

Governor Taft, who appointed Zaino to the Tax Commissioner’s job July 1, 1999, said Zaino will be missed, "I am very grateful for Tom’s service to my administration and the citizens of Ohio. His leadership and guidance has been critical in helping steer Ohio through the most difficult financial times we’ve faced in more than a decade. He is a ‘go-to’ guy who has accomplished all that I’ve asked him to do and much more. I feel that, with Tom, Ohio has had one of the best Tax Commissioners in the country."

As Tax Commissioner, Zaino has spurred efforts to modernize the Department of Taxation (ODT) and Ohio’s tax laws. At the Governor’s direction, Zaino lead efforts to develop the award-winning Ohio Business GatewaySM, the nation’s first on-line program offering business taxpayers a ‘one-stop shop’ for filing and paying various taxes with multiple state agencies.

Zaino also launched initiatives making it easier for individual taxpayers to interact with Ohio’s tax system. Those initiatives include two Taxpayer Services bills that updated and simplified many archaic tax laws and the development of the Ohio I-File system that allows individuals to file Ohio income tax returns on-line at no charge. Ohio now ranks second nationally trailing only California in the number of ‘paperless’ returns (includes electronic and Tele-file returns) filed annually.

With the Governor’s backing, Tax Commissioner Zaino chaired the nine-member Committee to Study State and Local Taxes. The Committee earlier this year issued a report recommending many changes to improve and simplify the state’s tax structure. Many of those recommendations, particularly those simplifying municipal income taxes, were adopted in the subsequent biennium budget bill (Substitute House Bill 95).

Zaino says the job has been tremendously fulfilling, both professionally and personally, "The Governor offered me a wonderful opportunity and it has been even more rewarding than I imagined. It has been a privilege and an honor to serve the Governor and the citizens of Ohio. I am also grateful to have worked with so many dedicated professionals at the Department of Taxation. Our accomplishments are to their credit."

A successor to Zaino has not yet been announced. Until then Deputy Tax Commissioner Pat McAndrew, a 29-year ODT veteran, will be serving as Interim Tax Commissioner.

The Ohio Department of Taxation has a staff of approximately 1,300 working in Columbus, seven regional offices in Ohio and three branch offices out of state.

Before joining ODT, Zaino was a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP specializing in state and local taxes. He is a University of Cincinnati graduate in Accounting with a law degree from The Ohio State University. He is married with two young children.

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(Contact: Gary Gudmundson, ODT Communications Director, at (614) 644-6903).