Get to Know a Cabinet Member: Richard Chandler

Gov. Scott Walker’s weekly e-update includes a segment called “Get to Know a Cabinet Member” that highlights a cabinet secretary and provides a brief overview of the department he or she oversees. The Governor’s goal in presenting this information is to provide the public with practical information about state government operations, especially as we head into the next budget cycle.

Richard Chandler – Department of Revenue (DOR)

Richard Chandler is a great fit as the Secretary of the Department of Revenue (DOR). He served as Secretary for the DOR once before, from 2001 to 2003, and was previously the State Budget Director for 14 years. Before entering state service, he practiced law in Milwaukee.

Rick’s years of tax policy, state budget, and economic development experience make him well suited to oversee DOR. The agency is responsible for collecting state general fund taxes, overseeing the local property tax system, distributing local government aids, researching and analyzing tax legislation and economic trends, and operating the state lottery. Rick’s key goals for DOR are to provide excellent customer service, help implement good tax policy with an emphasis on job creation, operate effectively, and maintain a positive work environment.

Rick and his team implemented a number of customer service initiatives. DOR launched a new, award-winning web site last year. The agency implemented the Plain Language initiative to improve the readability of its forms, letters, and publications, and the agency has a state-of-the-art customer call center to answer taxpayer questions. DOR worked to provide convenient e-filing services, and Wisconsin’s e-filing rate increased to 83 percent, making the state a national leader. E-filing is free on the DOR web site, under WI e-file.

DOR also helped develop and implement major initiatives to reduce Wisconsin’s tax burden and create jobs. This includes a new manufacturing and agriculture tax credit, which gives us one of the best tax climates in the country for these key economic drivers, new incentives to invest in Wisconsin businesses, and a new state deduction for contributions to Health Savings Accounts, which is particularly helpful to small businesses and self-employed individuals. Information on these programs and many others is easily accessible on DOR’s web site.

Rick and his wife Heidi live in Madison with their twin daughters, Claire and Allie. When Rick isn’t hard at work at DOR, he enjoys sports, bicycling, and traveling.

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