The Director’s Office Division provides administrative support for the Director and the department.
The division has eleven units, each with its own duties and responsibilities.
Director Gene Walborn
Gene Walborn, a 28-year veteran employee and manager with the Montana Department of Revenue, was named by Governor Steve Bullock as the department’s director on May 14, 2018.
Gene has a critical leadership role as the department moves forward with its work in tax administration and alcoholic beverage control. He assists with all upper level executive and management activities, including planning, budgeting, policy development, taxpayer affairs, personnel, public information and department activities. In addition, Gene is responsible for coordinating legislative work for the department.
Walborn worked as the department’s Business and Income Tax Division Administrator for nine years. He was responsible for the compliance and valuation of the state’s tax programs associated with all state taxpayers. These taxpayers include the largest multi-national businesses, Montana’s Main Street businesses and individual Montanans.
Walborn began his career with the department in 1990 as a centrally assessed property appraiser and has had ever-increasing responsibilities since then. Walborn graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in finance.
Deputy Director Shauna Helfert
Shauna Helfert began her Deputy Director position in early August 2018. Helfert has been with the department for 24 years. She served most recently as the Property Assessment division administrator. Her prior experience comprises of 12 years as the administrator with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division and various roles within the department including taxes and organizational development. She has earned two Governor’s Awards and is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Montana.
Budget and Finance Office
The Budget and Finance Office works with department leadership to coordinate the administration of the department’s budget, recommend budget actions, help establish productivity measures and priorities, and provide justification and support for the department’s budget to executive and legislative officials.
The department budget process, budget management, and spending activity are managed in the Fiscal Administrator’s Office. This is achieved by working closely with the governor’s budget office, Legislative Fiscal Division, and the Department of Revenue administrators, ultimately to comply with legislative intent and MCA 17-7 Budgeting and Appropriations.
Enterprise Planning and Analysis Office
The Enterprise Planning and Analysis (EPA) Office ensures strategic department initiatives are successful by providing a project approval process, managing active projects, evaluating the strategic needs of the department, and providing recommendations to leadership.
EPA strives to develop a culture of continuous improvement by serving as a center of knowledge on process improvement, providing process improvement services, and collecting measurable data to show improvements.
EPA consolidates information to provide an easily-accessible, transparent model of department activities by providing effective measures of department operations to external entities, gathering a repository of available operational data for analysis, and ensuring the department has the information required to make key decisions.
Information Technology Office
Chief Information Officer
The Information Technology Office (ITO) serves as the technological foundation for the department’s business units.
By keeping our computer systems up-to-date, the ITO helps the department stay efficient and makes sure our data is confidential, accurate and available. By providing these services, the ITO enables us to meet our business objectives and accomplish our mission to serve the citizens and businesses of Montana.
The ITO develops and supports applications and services for all of our information systems, including our network of over 650 users, in 60 locations across the state.
Legal Services Office
Chief Legal Counsel
Legal Services supervises the overall legal efforts of the department, including rules, policies, and bankruptcy.
Public Information Office
Public Information Specialist
The Public Information Office (PIO) serves as the department’s voice to the public, news media, partner agencies, internal employees and other stakeholders.
The PIO works with media outlets, including newspapers, television, and radio; aids department employees with writing and editing letters and documents; helps develop public education resources; manages social media accounts; and coordinates internal communications.
Tax Policy and Research
Tax Policy and Research (TPR) prepares the legislative fiscal notes that affect revenue and analyzes legislative proposals affecting the department, department economic data, and tax compliance.
Office of Taxpayer Assistance
The Office of Taxpayer Assistance is independent of the department’s divisions so it can provide impartial service. It works to resolve taxpayer issues after the usual channels of problem solving have been exhausted or communications with the department have broken down.
The office handles a taxpayer’s procedural issues or disputes with the service or inefficiency of the department, especially those concerning citizen rights guaranteed by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The office also receives complaints about improper or abusive behavior by department employees. The office can help you understand the options and procedures available to resolve your issue. The office does not address issues of fact or law that are considered by the department’s Office of Dispute Resolution.
Human Resources and Organizational Development Office
The Human Resources and Organizational Development Office handles a variety of HR duties including organizational and workforce development, employee and labor relations, staffing, employment law, performance management, compensation, and training and development.
Chief Security Officer
The Security Office provides the department with the tools, resources, and training to keep taxpayers’ confidential information safe.
The SO keeps department employees up-to-date on potential security issues, both digital and human; provides regular training for employees on the best ways to protect information; inspects department offices and procedures to make sure we are complying with federal and state disclosure laws; and, advises on cybersecurity and disclosure issues.
Office of Dispute Resolution
Administrative Law Judge
Consistent with most federal and state agencies, the Department of Revenue retains an independent adjudicatory office, called the Office of Dispute Resolution. Its purpose is to render fair, objective, and unbiased decisions in tax disputes free from agency influence or direction.
The Hearing Examiners assigned to the ODR are not subject to performance ratings, promotions, demotions, or compensation based upon the number of times she decides in favor of the agency or the taxpayer. Along with all other agency hearing examiners, she assumes a unique status in state government.
It is the Hearing Examiner’s responsibility to render decisions based upon the record and evidence of each case. The decisions are expected to fully explain why one party or another prevails in any given dispute. The administrative rules for the ODR are ARM 42.2.613 through 42.2.621.
The Executive Office Staff provides administrative support services for the work units within the Director’s Office.