Read 1st time January 12, 2000, and 1000 copies ordered printed.
ANNE C. WALKER, Chief Clerk
To amend chapter 37, RSMo, relating to the office of administration by adding thereto one new section relating to the same subject.
Section A. Chapter 37, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 37.007, to read as follows:
37.007. 1. There is established within the office of administration the "Department of Revenue Oversight Board". The oversight board shall be composed of nine members, as follows:
(1) Seven members shall be individuals who are not otherwise state officers or employees who meet the qualifications described in subsection 2 of this section and who shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate;
(2) One member shall be the director of the department of revenue; and
(3) One member shall be an individual who is, and has been for at least five years prior to appointment, a full-time employee of the department of revenue and who shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate.
2. Members of the oversight board described in subdivision (1) of subsection 1 of this section shall be appointed without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of their professional experience and expertise in one or more of the following areas:
(1) Taxation in this state in an area other than the needs and concerns of individual income taxpayers, including tax administration and compliance;
(2) The needs and concerns of individual income taxpayers in this state;
(3) Information technology;
(4) Business organization and development in this state;
(5) Operating a business with fewer than twenty employees in this state;
(6) Operating a business with more than twenty and fewer than one hundred employees, with a headquarters located within this state; and
(7) Operating a business with more than one hundred employees, with a headquarters located within this state.
At least one member shall have substantial experience in each area described in this subsection, so that, in the aggregate, the members of the oversight board collectively bring to bear expertise in all of such areas.
3. Each member of the oversight board, other than the director of the department of revenue, shall be appointed for one term of five years and shall not be appointed for another term after serving one full five-year term; except that, of the members initially appointed, two shall be appointed for a term of two years, two shall be appointed for a term of four years, and two shall be appointed for a term of five years. Any vacancy on the oversight board shall be filled by a person with expertise in the same area as the person's predecessor, and shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term for which the member's predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of that term and may be reappointed to only one full five-year term at the end of the original term.
4. The oversight board shall oversee the department of revenue in its administration, management, conduct, direction, execution and application of the tax laws of this state. Specifically, the oversight board shall be responsible for the following:
(1) Review and approval of strategic plans proposed by the department of revenue, including the establishment of mission and objectives, and standards of performance relative to either;
(2) Review of the department of revenue's operational functions, including any plans for tax system modernization, outsourcing, training and education;
(3) Overseeing management of the department of revenue by recommending candidates for the position of director of the department of revenue to the governor and, if necessary, recommending removal of the director of the department of revenue, and reviewing the selection and evaluation of the department of revenue's senior staff;
(4) Review and approval of any plan of the director of the department of revenue for major reorganization of the department of revenue to ensure such reorganization serves the best interests of the taxpayers of this state;
(5) Overseeing the department or revenue's budget requests through review and approval of such requests prior to submission of the same to the legislature, and ensuring that the budget requests support the department of revenue's strategic plans;
(6) Ensuring the proper treatment of taxpayers by auditors and other department of revenue employees.
5. Tax information deemed confidential pursuant to the provisions of section 32.057, RSMo, shall remain confidential and disclosure of such confidential tax information shall be allowed to oversight board members only in accordance with the provisions of section 32.057, RSMo, unless a taxpayer specifically authorizes disclosure of his or her tax information in writing. Upon receipt of a written disclosure authorization, the department shall provide tax information regarding the taxpayer to the oversight board. Records pertaining to the overall operation of the department of revenue's tax collection and administration, the disclosure of which is not limited by section 32.057, RSMo, shall be provided to any member of the oversight board as soon as reasonably possible following receipt by the department of revenue of a written request for such information by the oversight board member.
6. All actions of the oversight board shall be approved by a simple majority vote of the oversight board.
7. In accordance with the provisions of subdivision (6) of subsection 4 of this section, and notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, before the department of revenue takes any tax administration action or pursues any collection activity which will impact a group of taxpayers or a large number of businesses within a particular industry, the oversight board shall review and approve any such action or activity. Some factors the oversight board shall consider are:
(1) Whether the action or activity is consistent with previous instructions given to businesses within a particular industry, both formal and informal, by the department of revenue through verifiable telephone conversations, informal letters or regulations promulgated by the department of revenue;
(2) Whether the action or activity is consistent with previous industry practices with regard to the issue at hand, determined by testimony of other businesses in the same industry;
(3) Whether the action or activity is consistent with any final decision issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or the administrative hearing commission regarding the issue at hand;
(4) The monetary impact of the action or activity on the industry as whole; and
(5) Any other factor that, in the opinion of the oversight board, should be considered in the interest of the fair treatment of taxpayers by the department of revenue.
8. If the oversight board, by majority vote, determines that an action or activity of the department of revenue as determined pursuant to subsection 7 of this section is improper, the oversight board is authorized to direct the department of revenue to follow a course of action deemed acceptable to a majority of the members of the oversight board.
9. Any decision of the oversight board shall be consistent with existing statutes and decisions of courts of competent jurisdiction and the administrative hearing commission regarding the issue.
10. Any decision of the oversight board may be appealed to the administrative hearing commission in the same manner as the procedure provided for appeal of decisions of the director of the department of revenue as provided in section 621.050, RSMo; provided that, any such appeal must be filed within sixty days of the date the decision is issued by the oversight board.
11. Any taxpayer may personally represent themselves in any proceedings of the oversight board. In the case of a business, any owner, partner or officer of the company may represent the business in any proceedings of the oversight board.
12. Each member of the oversight board shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses, including travel expenses, actually incurred in the performance of his or her official duties.
13. The oversight board shall hold meetings at least once per month and shall be subject to the provisions of
chapter 610, RSMo, regarding meetings of governmental bodies. Records shall be maintained of all meetings and
shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 610, RSMo, regarding public records, except where disclosure of such
records would violate the provisions of section 32.057, RSMo, in which case the provisions of section 32.057,
RSMo, shall prevail.