Revenue Has its Man…Or Will Have, After Tax Season

So finally the governor names a commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Revenue. But there’s a problem. The guy has to give his current company notice. Really long notice.

Myron Frans will be Mark Dayton’s revenue commissioner, the Star Tribune reports.

“The Department of Revenue is responsible for administering and collecting the state’s taxes. Frans, who is president of a company that manufactures forensic microscopes, will not start on the job until mid-April while he transitions out of his current position. Current commissioner Dan Salomone will stay on in the meantime. Frans spent many years as a tax attorney with Faegre & Benson before moving to Leeds Precision Instruments, Inc.”

Given the crisis in the capitol (read: a $6.2 billion budget deficit), this seems a tad odd. Salomone will do fine as a fill-in, but as a GOP-appointed short-timer who has no particular loyalty to Dayton, he doesn’t exactly have any incentive to give it his all during what figures to be a brutal legislative session on the tax front. Besides which, Salomone is known to have an aversion to dealing directly with the Legislature.

And the new guy won’t show up, except in an advisory role, until the current session is half-way over.

None of this does anything to allay suspicions that the governor had a real problem on his hands finding someone in his own party to take responsibility for that department.

Late addition (Friday, Jan. 7): (With thanks to Blois Olson’s “Morning Take.”) GOP state Sen. Julianne Ortmann is not impressed with Dayton’s handling of the Revenue appointment.

“This is not an appointment; it is inaction accompanied by a press release and an I.O.U. from the Governor.”


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