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News Release

February 1, 2007 - Former Deputy Tax Commissioner Selected as Newest Hall of Fame Member

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Former Ohio Deputy Tax Commissioner Carol Bessey was inducted into the Ohio Tax Hall of Fame here during a ceremony at the 16th annual Ohio Tax Conference Tuesday, January 30. She was the seventh person and first woman to receive the honor since the hall was founded in 2001.

Ohio Tax Commissioner Richard Levin announced her induction during a ceremony at the conference. More than 900 people attended the two-day event.

“I’m truly surprised and honored,” Bessey said. She noted that through the years, she’d had the opportunity to work with diverse individuals and groups who all had varied objectives for Ohio tax law. “Even though we certainly did not all agree on specific goals,” she said, “we knew it was in all our interests to have as broad an understanding as possible of all perspectives and issues.”

The best part of her job as deputy tax commissioner, she said, was getting to know and work with “great people, in and out of the department, who worked very hard.” The greatest challenge, she added, was to explain complex tax policies and advocate specific positions in an understandable, meaningful way to individuals without a strong taxation background. 

Levin noted that Bessey first came to ODT in the late 1980s to work as his executive assistant when he was assistant tax commissioner. She then served as deputy tax commissioner for tax policy from 1991 through 2003, when she retired from ODT.

During her career in ODT, Levin said she’d been significantly involved in many major tax issues including the “bright line” income tax residency legislation, net worth tax reform for business, electric utility deregulation, telecommunications industry tax reform, school funding initiatives, Internet and remote sales taxation, the Streamlined Sales Tax Project and two major tax studies.

Bessey earlier worked for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission and served on the staff of the Ohio Senate Ways and Means Committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in public administration from The Ohio State University. She is married with two children, and resides with her family in the Clintonville section of Columbus.

Selection to the Ohio Tax Hall of Fame is made by the Ohio Tax Commissioner and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. Those in the Ohio Tax Hall of Fame were selected on the basis of outstanding contributions to the development, administration or operation of Ohio’s state tax system.   

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(For additional information, contact Gary Gudmundson, Communications Director, at (614) 644-6903 or Mike McKinney, Public Information Officer, at 614-466-5461.)