Joseph W. Testa was appointed Ohio Tax Commissioner by
Governor John Kasich in January 2011. He is the 18th tax
commissioner to lead the Ohio Department of Taxation.
Testa leads an agency of about 1,100 employees and is successfully pursuing a mission to reduce staff and department expenditures while improving service to taxpayers through the harnessing of various technologies. Since taking office, Testa has reduced staff size by more than 200 persons and cut the department’s general revenue fund spending by more than 16 percent. Technologies including an automated call distribution system, webinars for tax professionals, telecommuting for audit and enforcement staff and expanding electronic communications with taxpayers have all contributed to better service, greater efficiencies and lower costs.
The Tax Commissioner is responsible for administering and enforcing most state and many local government taxes, including the state income tax, state and local sales taxes, and several business and excise taxes. All told, these taxes provide approximately $24 billion in revenues to support funding of Ohio’s schools and colleges, Medicaid, law enforcement, transportation and a myriad of other public services.
Testa joined the department with nearly 30 years of public
service, including a 25 year record of accomplishment as an
elected official. He was first elected Franklin County (OH)
Recorder in 1985 and held that office until 1992. As Recorder
he was responsible for the recording of all real estate
transactions, liens and various other documents as prescribed
by Ohio law.
Testa then was elected to the office of Franklin County
Auditor, a position he held for 17 years until stepping away
from office in 2009. As Auditor, he was responsible for
managing an office with approximately 185 employees and
entrusted with the appraisal of all real estate in the
county, various fiscal services, involvement with personal
property and estate taxes, and providing for Information
Technology services for county government. He received
numerous awards in office including twice being selected as
Auditor of the Year by the County Auditor’s Association of
Ohio and chosen twice for the Outstanding Auditor Award by
the Auditor of State (OH).
During and after his tenure as an elected official, Testa
taught graduate and undergraduate courses in management,
business analysis and technique, ethics, and organizational
systems. Before entering public service, Testa worked in the
private sector in management with a food products company.
Testa earned a Master of Labor & Human Resources degree
from The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business.
He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public
Administration from the University of Central Florida.
Testa is a veteran having served in the U.S. Navy (1968-72)
from which he received a Vietnam Service Medal.
He is married, the father of two sons, and has three