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Suzan DelBene named new director of state Department of Revenue

Gov. Chris Gregoire has appointed Medina businesswoman and former congressional candidate Suzan DelBene to be director of the Washington Department of Revenue.

DelBene will lead the department as it aims to simplify the state’s tax system – a priority the Governor listed in her recent executive order to improve the way government serves small business. Washington’s sales tax is made up of a flat state rate of 6.5 percent and local rates, which are spread across 300 sales tax location codes. There are also more than 50 B&O tax classifications, and 39 cities with their own B&O tax rates, exemptions, deductions and thresholds.

“Suzan’s background with both large and small businesses will be an asset as the Department of Revenue works to simplify the tax code and reduce costs for businesses,” Gregoire said in a press release. “Suzan knows firsthand how the tax system impacts businesses and possesses the skills and vision to lead the agency through this transformation.”

DelBene replaces Cindi Holmstrom, who has led the state Revenue Department since 2005. Holmstrom is leaving to work for a private consulting group. DelBene starts Dec. 16.

DelBene has spent more than 20 years in the business world. She helped launch drugstore.com and then led a small technology start up. In 2004, she went to work for Microsoft, where she served as a vice president within the mobile division. She also consulted with Global Partnerships, a micro-finance nonprofit organization.

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