Home Local Maryland Government Announcement Originally published January 05, 2011

Franchot Hires Taxpayer Ombudsman to Ensure World Class Customer Service

- Experienced Public Servant to be New Advocate for Maryland Taxpayers -

Annapolis, MD. (January 5, 2011) – Reaffirming his commitment to provide Marylanders with the most effective and efficient customer service possible, Comptroller Peter Franchot announced today that James Arnie will assume the new position of Taxpayer Ombudsman. The mission of the Office of Taxpayer Ombudsman is to instill confidence and integrity in administration of Maryland's tax law and to offer taxpayers a more immediate contact for questions and concerns.

“I am very proud of our track record of customer service and am committed to taking the agency to an even higher level of service,” said Comptroller Franchot. “If a problem arises between a taxpayer and my office, the Taxpayer Ombudsman will seek resolution of the problem and ensure that it is handled in the utmost professional, fair and impartial manner. With his long and distinguished record of service, I am confident Mr. Arnie is the man for the job.”

Arnie is no stranger to the Comptroller’s office. He began as an internal auditor with the Income Tax Division in 1970 and has held various administrative positions, including manager of the Administration Section with responsibility for personnel, procurement, budgeting, facilities and management. In September 1986, he was appointed Assistant Director of the former Income Tax Division which has since been replaced by the Revenue Administration Division. He was appointed Director of the Revenue Administration Division on July 1, 1997, and has completed 40 years of service with the Comptroller’s Office.

Arnie received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Baltimore in 1968 and is past President of the Maryland Government Finance Officers Association.

Rhea Reed will be taking over as Director of the Revenue Administration Division. Reed has 10 years of State service, the last three with the Comptroller, first as Director of Internal Audit and most recently as the Deputy Director of the Revenue Administration Division.