Wade Anderson Memorial Award
Wade Anderson Memorial Medal
The annual award honors Wade Anderson, who spent 30 years in a variety of positions with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and also served several more years as a tax attorney in the private sector. He was a founding member of the Border States Caucus of tax agencies in states along the U.S.-Mexico border and served as member of the boards of the Federation of Tax Administrators and the Multistate Tax Commission. In 1992 he was the winner of the FTA Award for Outstanding Service and Leadership. The Wade Anderson Memorial Medal was established after his death in 2003 to commemorate his tireless and creative efforts to promote interstate cooperation among tax agencies and between tax administrators and taxpayers. The award is given annually to an individual who best exemplifies his commitment to interstate cooperation to promote fairness, simplicity and consistency in state tax administration.
Medal winners are chosen by representatives of the FTA Board of Trustees and the MTC Executive Committee, and selected from nominations submitted by state tax agency employees. The award presentation alternates between the MTC annual meeting (even years) and the FTA annual meeting (odd years).
Wade Anderson Memorial Award Recipients
Pictured below from left to right: Bruce Johnson, Dan Bucks, Elizabeth Harchenko, and Ben Miller
2007 - Dan Bucks (Montana Department of Revenue)
Dan Bucks is the director of the Montana Department of Revenue, but he will always be best known for serving for almost two decades as the executive director of the Multistate Tax Commission. Dan’s years of dedication to interstate cooperation yielded a productive working relationship with organizations such as the National Governors Association and the IRS and enhanced communication with taxpayer organizations. He brought states together to fight Congressional preemption of state taxation authority. He is perhaps best known, however, for his work to develop uniform policies and laws among the states to minimize corporate interstate tax avoidance. The Medal was presented by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs at the FTA Annual Meeting on June 11 in Chicago.
2006 - Bruce Johnson (Utah Tax Commission)
Bruce Johnson was first appointed to the Utah State Tax Commission in 1998 and reappointed to a third four-year term by Gov. Huntsman in July of 2006. “Bruce has a masterful command of most tax issues, and he is particularly well-versed in areas of income and sales tax,” said Pam Hendrickson, chair of the Utah State Tax Commission. “His knowledge and efforts regarding interstate tax cooperation is recognized by national experts.”
Commissioner Johnson is also widely recognized for his national leadership efforts to simplify and harmonize sales and use tax regimes among the states.
Prior to his appointment to the Utah Tax Commission, Johnson was a tax attorney for Holme, Roberts & Owen and a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. He is a certified public accountant, holds an accounting degree from the University of Utah, and a law degree from Brigham Young University where he was a Reuben Clark Scholar.
2005 - Ben Miller (California Franchise Tax Board)
Ben Miller has worked in state tax administration for 34 years and is the Multistate Tax Counsel for the California Franchise Tax Board, where he acts as head legal advisor on interstate tax issues. Judges noted that Miller is the author of dozens of published articles on state taxation and is the principal author of, or contributor to, a multitude of measures for uniform treatment of multistate incomes. He has been a key participant in the MTC Uniformity Committee and served as chair of the MTC Income and Franchise Tax Uniformity Subcommittee. He also served as the founding chair of the MTC Litigation Committee, which continues today as a forum for continuing legal education and legal coordination among states.
2004 - Elizabeth Harchenko (Oregon Department of Revenue)
Elizabeth Harchenko, Director of the Oregon Department of Revenue, is the first recipient of the Wade Anderson Memorial Medal for Leadership in Interstate Tax Cooperation. Ms. Harchenko has been director of the Oregon Department of Revenue since May 1997 and is responsible for a $135 million budget and 1,000 employees. She began her career with the Oregon Tax Court and has also served on the staff of the state legislature and the Attorney General’s office. She is past chairperson of the Multistate Tax Commission and past president of the Western States Association of Tax Administrators.
The selection committee praised Harchenko for her unflagging support for interstate cooperative activities, including her recent work as chairperson of the Multistate Tax Commission. The committee noted: “Elizabeth has been a leader in establishing cooperative state tax administration not only in Oregon but through both the Multistate Tax Commission and the Federation of Tax Administrators. She has provided leadership in state policy initiatives in the income, sales and use and property tax areas.”
“She has been an energetic and effective spokesperson for the states at the federal level. Her leadership led to the Commission’s Federalism at Risk report. She has been the driving force behind the MTC’s state tax compliance initiatives, work that will provide a blueprint for state tax policy makers for the next decade.”
In announcing the award, Billy Hamilton, Texas Deputy Comptroller and long-time colleague of Wade Anderson, said, “Just as Wade Anderson fostered interstate cooperation over a long period of years, Elizabeth began reaching out beyond the boundaries of her state when she worked on tax issues for the Oregon Attorney General’s Office and has continued to do so throughout her career. She combines a broad understanding of tax policy challenges facing the states with an extraordinary talent for helping people from diverse states work together. Everyone who works with Elizabeth gains from the experience.”