Tax Department Downsizing with Tech Upgrades - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Tax Department Downsizing with Tech Upgrades

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It's a rarity in government...downsizing staff.

But that is what the state tax department has been able to do over the last few years -- while at the same time taking on more work.

Acting tax commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger was in Minot today continuing his kick-off tour announcing his candidacy for the position that he was named to by the governor late last year when Cory Fong announced his retirement.

He said last tax season about 410-thousand individual tax filers were processed through the department -- that's a large increase over the last few years.

Still, with that increase, the department has been able to downsize its personnel thanks to the benefits of technology.

(Ryan Rauschenberger - ND State Tax Commissioner) "It is a win-win situation. It is better for the taxpayers and it is better for our department. We have actually been able to decrease our employees from 155 when Cory (Fong) started as commissioner to 134. That is due to increasing, on our end, our IT infrastructure. We are more efficient then we used to be and I think more effective. We are able to respond to taxpayers more frequently because we are dealing with less paper. The system does a lot of the work for us."

Refunds back in some cases in just a few days now thanks to e-filing.

Rauschenberger is seeking the Republican endorsement for the office of tax commissioner.

This week, the first Democrat announced his intentions to run for the office -- Jason Astrup -- a Fargo attorney.

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