Monday, November 21, 2016

Tim Leathers, deputy director of state finance, heading to private sector

Posted By on Mon, Nov 21, 2016 at 2:50 PM

click to enlarge TIM LEATHERS: Testifying at the legislature isn't always easy for the revenue commissioner.
  • TIM LEATHERS: Testifying at the legislature isn't always easy for the revenue commissioner.
Tim Leathers, the No. 2 man at the state Department of Finance and Administration, is leaving state employment for the private consulting world.

A Hutchinson administration spokesman said there was no announcement at this time to Leathers, the deputy director and revenue commissioner.

Leathers is a holdover from a day when the DFA was one of the most responsive agencies in state government. I point it out because of my difficulty recently in obtaining detailed information on state income tax payments by income categories. These and other data are critical in evaluating tax cut proposals, which apparently will be the major focus of the 2017 legislative session with secondary concern about what services to cut to sustain the tax cuts. The information is no long readily available I was told by Jake Bleed, through whom all information requests at DFA pass. In years gone by, you could talk easily and directly with the head of the agency.

In his revenue role, Leathers often had to testify about the impact of tax measures on budgets. This was not always popular. Department revenue projections also figured in legislative actions.

Leathers in going to work for InVeritas, a consulting and lobbying firm headed by Ruth Whitney, a former top aide to Gov. Mike Beebe.

The news release:


Long-time Ark. Department of Finance and Administration Deputy Director and Commissioner of Revenues Tim Leathers will join inVeritas as vice president of consulting, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Leathers will be based in inVeritas’ Little Rock headquarters and provide strategic guidance and support to clients based on his decades of experience in finance, government and law.

“Tim has served as a loyal and trusted advisor to seven governors in his nearly 40-year career with the State of Arkansas,” said inVeritas CEO Ruth Whitney. “His extensive experience, contacts, and ability to work with individuals on both sides of the aisle will broaden the firm’s practice and reinforce our track record of success.”

Leathers began his career with DFA in 1977 as a legal assistant and later a revenue tax attorney. He was appointed chief counsel in 1982 – a position he served in for seven years before being hired as commissioner of revenues.

He has served as the department’s deputy director and commissioner of revenues since 1994 where he manages 2,500 employees and is responsible for oversight of the Office of Budget, Personnel Management, Accounting, and Purchasing and Revenue Division.

Under Leather’s tenure, the state implemented the Arkansas Tax Procedure Act, which provided a standard process for the administration of all state taxes and fair method for taxpayers to comply with tax laws. He is also responsible for the current organizational structure of DFA – combining administrative functions and management structure resulted in financial savings and efficiencies that have enhanced the agency’s performance.

“It has been my great privilege to serve DFA and the State of Arkansas for 39 years,” said Leathers. “I am excited to join the inVeritas team and will work to deliver a unique and valuable perspective for their clients in both the public and private sector.”

Leathers earned both his bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and served as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve JAG Corps.

He has served as an instructor of commercial law at UALR and an adjunct professor of state and local taxation at UALR Bowen School of Law.

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