Truth in government bill seeks to change state agency name

Taxpayer advocate and state Sen. Phil Fortunato, R-Auburn, has introduced truth-in-government legislation that accurately portrays the work of a state agency.

Senate Bill 5925 would change the name of the state Department of Revenue to the Department of Taxation. The simple name change required an over-500-page bill.

“I was at a conference and learned that Hawaii is doing it right,” said Fortunato. “They have what’s called the Department of Taxation. I think we need more truth in government, so I sponsored this legislation to make it clearer to people what our state agency does.”

According to its mission statement, the state Department of Revenue seeks “to fairly and efficiently collect revenues and administer programs to fund public services and advocate sound tax policy.”

“The reality is that this state agency doesn’t generate revenue,” Fortunato said. “Revenue is what businesses and people generate from the sale of goods and services. This is a tax collection agency and their name should reflect that.”

The measure was referred to State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections committee.