Department of Revenue launches new Oregon Taxpayer Advocate Office

January 3, 2022

The Oregon Department of Revenue has launched a new office to help create a clear and easy experience for Oregon taxpayers. Codi Trudell will serve as Oregon’s first Taxpayer Advocate, agency Director Betsy Imholt announced today.

House Bill 3373 (2021) created the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate within the Department of Revenue. Joining Trudell will be Public Service Representative Emely Lozano De Opico and Research Analyst Michael Metiva.

“The taxpayer advocate is an independent office and will enhance the department’s services to taxpayers. It will provide opportunities to proactively connect with taxpayers and form collaborative partnerships with community-based organizations. All of these efforts will contribute to the ability of the taxpayer to have a voice within the agency, increasing system equity and voluntary compliance,” Imholt said.

The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate will:

  • Identify issues or barriers to equitable and fair tax collection.
  • Provide expeditious service to taxpayers whose tax-related problems are not resolved through ordinary channels including contact with customer service, legislators, or the Director’s Office.
  • Receive and evaluate complaints of improper, abusive, or inefficient service by agency employees.
  • Identify systemic issues and make recommendations to address them.
  • Have the authority to issue taxpayer assistance orders to compel the agency to act in an individual taxpayer’s case.

“I am excited about the opportunity to become both a voice and a resource for Oregon taxpayers. I look forward to identifying meaningful ways of working with community partners, especially in efforts to reach previously underserved populations,” Trudell said.

Trudell’s public service career includes experience as manager of the Disadvantaged/Small Business Program at the Oregon Department of Transportation; deputy director of voting services for the Secretary of State; elections supervisor for Polk and Benton Counties; and coordinator for community outreach for Oregon Senate Majority Office. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Oregon State University.

De Opico has been a Department of Revenue Agent for more than eight years. Her ability to communicate in both English and Spanish allows her to reach a broad community. She has an associate’s degree in accounting, and a certificate in tax preparation from Chemeketa Community College.

Metiva has bachelor’s degrees in physics and economics, which included significant education in statistics and analysis. He also holds a master’s degree in Horticulture which expanded on that education and put it to use in a variety of independent and collaborative research projects. He joins Revenue from the Horticulture Department of Michigan State University.

This article originally appeared in Tax Advocate News

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