Posted: Feb. 6, 2003
THE TAXMAN GOETH
By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer
Talk about a royal sendoff. William L.
Remington, the respected director of the Delaware Division of
Revenue, is having one now.
Remington told colleagues this week that he
would give up his post as the state's top tax collector at the end
of the month to take about as exotic a job as a revenue man can get.
He is joining the U.S. Treasury's Office of Technical Assistance,
which advises other countries on tax, financial and budget policy.
It will mean lots of overseas assignments.
As matters turned out, Remington's resignation
coincided with a favorable account of Delaware's tax system in
Governing magazine, a nonpartisan publication that printed a
comprehensive review of all 50 states' revenue policy and collection
methods in its February edition.
No state fared better than Delaware in the
magazine's analysis, and no one leaped to mind more quickly as the
reason for it than Bill Remington.
State Finance Secretary David W. Singleton,
who is Remington's boss in the Gov. Ruth Ann Minner's Democratic
administration, credited Remington and his division, as well as the
Division of Corporations in the Department of State, for Delaware's
"Nobody exactly loves paying taxes," Singleton
said. "It's nice to see Revenue and State get the recognition.
They're professional operations."
State Rep. Deborah D. Hudson, the Republican
chairwoman of the Revenue & Finance Committee in the House of
Representatives, also singled out Remington as a steadying presence
who never lets politics interfere.
Remington has run the revenue operation for a
decade, first as acting director in July 1993 and than as the
director since 1994. Before that, he was the deputy director.
Although he rarely talks about it, Remington also is a lawyer whose
first job in Delaware was as a deputy attorney general when he
arrived here from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1977.
Remington is in demand throughout the country
to speak about taxation, and he is a past president of the
Federation of Tax Administrators.
The career change was somewhat unexpected. As
someone who truly is committed to what he does, Remington recently
spent vacation time with the U.S. Treasury Department on the sort of
assignments he will be doing for a living. In October he went to the
Ukraine in Eastern Europe, and in December he was in Sri Lanka, an
island off the Indian coast.
"I liked it, and apparently they liked me,"
At 56, Remington is eligible to retire from
the state government, so he decided to make his move. When he
reports, his first assignment will be a return to the Ukraine. The Office of
Technical Assistance typically sends advisers to Central and Eastern
Europe and recently has worked in South Africa, Haiti and Indonesia,
according to its Web site.
Not that Remington is cutting his Delaware
ties. He intends to keep his house in Middletown, and he also has
property in Bethany Beach. "I can still be a Delaware resident,
still vote here," he said.
And pay taxes, too.
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