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North Dakota Tax Commissioner resigning Oct 23, 2013

North Dakota Tax Commissioner Cory Fong

By Greg Janetka

BISMARK, North Dakota: Cory Fong, who has served as North Dakota Tax Commissioner since 2005, announced his resignation earlier this month. Fong's last day heading the department will be December 31, when he is leaving to join the public affairs division of Odney Advertising to consult on behalf of businesses.[1]

Fong was first appointed to the post by then-Gov. John Hoeven (R) in 2005 and elected to full terms in 2006 and 2010. In announcing his resignation, Fong stated, "I have enjoyed my time serving as tax commissioner immensely and I have gained immeasurably from the experience, along with the other leadership positions I have had the good fortune to serve in over the years. And, it is this broad foundation of experience that drives my interest in setting new goals and seeking new opportunities outside of government that are aimed at building and growing North Dakota."[2]

Article V, Section 8 of the state constitution addresses vacancies in state executive offices. In the event of a vacancy, the governor nominates a successor who must be confirmed by the state senate. Once confirmed, the individual serves the remainder of the unexpired term. Gov. Jack Dalrymple's spokesman Jeff Zent said Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley (R) is in charge of receiving letters of intent from those interested in the position. The governor will then interview the finalists.[3]

North Dakota is the only state to have an elected Tax Commissioner. The main responsibility of the office is to collect tax revenue that is required by North Dakota law through the administration of said laws. The specific powers and duties of the commissioner are outlined in Chapter57-01-02 of the North Dakota Century Code. The budget for the office in Fiscal Year 2011-2013 was $39,248,449.[4]

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