After serving in the number two role in the North Dakota Tax Commissioner’s office since 2009, Ryan Rauschenberger will be taking over the department at the end of the year.
Rauschenberger was appointed the new state tax commissioner on Friday by Gov. Jack Dalrymple. His appointment is effective Jan. 1.
Rauschenberger will be taking over for Cory Fong, who is resigning on Dec. 31 to join Odney Advertising.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Rauschenberger said. He pointed to the approximately $857 million in tax cuts that are to be enacted during the 2013-15 biennium as an example.
He said the tax department is “in a much different place than when Cory Fong came on in 2005.” Rauschenberger said the economy has seen drastic changes as the oil industry has exploded in the western part of the state. This has led to new challenges with property and income tax policy.
“We have very different challenges in front of us,” Rauschenberger said.
Other tax legislation will need to be reviewed in advance of the 2015 legislative session, Rauschenberger said.
He pointed to House Bill 1358 which provides more than $1 billion in spending to political subdivisions throughout the oil patch to address needs.
Rauschenberger said in the early months of the biennium some of the funding allocations and grant dollar programs in HB1358 have been working while others would need to be reworked next session. He didn’t specify what parts of the law might need fixing.
He was appointed deputy tax commissioner in 2009. Prior to joining the tax department Rauschenberger worked for the North Department of Commerce. He also previously worked at a Minneapolis accounting firm.
Rauschenberger said he applied for the position with the intent of running for the office of tax commissioner in 2014.
“This isn’t my official announcement but I do plan on running next year,” Rauschenberger said.
No candidates from any political party have yet officially announced their intent to run.
His father Ron Rauschenberger serves as the governor’s chief of staff. Ryan Rauschenberger said familial ties didn’t factor into the governor’s decision. He said his resume speaks for itself.
“I think it’s clear that Ryan has the experience and qualifications,” Dalrymple said.
Dalrymple added that Rauschenberger would be able to provide a seamless transition upon Fong’s departure.