Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) Secretary Peter Barca yesterday welcomed eight former Secretaries of Revenue, representing seven different administrations, to the department’s headquarters in Madison. The summit of former DOR Secretaries was held as part of a broader series of internal department events to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the formation of the department’s Income, Sales and Excise Tax Division as well as the 50th anniversary of the formation of its Audit and Compliance Bureaus.
The secretaries had varied professional backgrounds prior to serving the Department of Revenue and included state legislators, a Madison Alderman, a U.S. Army veteran, a Wisconsin Badger and Chicago Bears football player, math teacher, tax attorney, member of Congress, U.S. State Department Senior Advisor, real estate developer and Wisconsin State Budget Director. Former DOR Secretary Rick Chandler, notably, held the position twice, non-consecutively, under two separate governors.
They discussed the past, present, and future of the department and shared their experiences and challenges, touching on key accomplishments during their respective tenures. These included the addition of personal computers for staff, the launch of the department’s website, the implementation of electronic filing, the addition of the Wisconsin Lottery to the department, combined reporting, and the creation of the Division of Research and Analysis, now known as the Research and Policy Division.