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
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
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