Montana Administrative Register Notice 42-2-954 No. 19   10/14/2016    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM 42.2.705 pertaining to alternative business office hours in qualified county offices







TO: All Concerned Persons


1. On August 5, 2016, the Department of Revenue published MAR Notice No. 42-2-954 pertaining to the public hearings on the proposed amendment of the above-stated rule at page 1376 of the 2016 Montana Administrative Register, Issue Number 15.


2. On August 29, 2016, a public hearing was held in Carter County to consider the proposed amendment. Pamela Castleberry, Carter County Clerk and Recorder, and Jesi Strub, Carter County Treasurer, both appeared and testified at the hearing. No written comments were received.


3. On August 30, 2016, a public hearing was held in Wheatland County to consider the proposed amendment. No members of the public appeared for the hearing and no written comments were received.


4. The department amends the above-stated rule as proposed.


5. The department has thoroughly considered the comments and testimony received. A summary of the comments received and the department's responses are as follows:


COMMENT 1: Pamela Castleberry, Clerk and Recorder for Carter County, commented that she misses having warm bodies from the department available in the office to answer questions as needed. She stated that she appreciates the help received from the department's part-time employee, Tena, when available, and while she understands that other department employees can be called on the phone when Tena is not available, she would still appreciate having an individual available in the office at other times if possible for the department to provide that coverage.


RESPONSE 1: The department appreciates the county recognizing the importance of having Department of Revenue staff in the county offices. The department is required by law to maintain an office in every county, even though the department has limited resources. The department must weigh each county's workload to determine when best to staff its county offices while completing the work in every county.


COMMENT 2: Jesi Strub, Treasurer for Carter County, commented that she agrees with Ms. Castleberry's comments and also misses having somebody from the department in the office when part-time employee, Tena, is unavailable. She stated that while Tena's availability through e-mail and phone calls is sufficient for her work, she doesn't feel it is sufficient for taxpayers coming in the door looking for help from the department.


RESPONSE 2: The department understands that there are times when taxpayers arrive at the office when department staff is unavailable. In an effort to be responsive to questions and concerns from the public, the department publishes the office hours in the local newspaper twice a year, posts the office hours and web site address in the office, and has made arrangements for the availability of staff in other department offices via telephone. While these efforts may not be the same as having a staff member available in person at all times, these are the department's best efforts to provide good customer service in light of its limited resources.



/s/ Laurie Logan                                    /s/ Mike Kadas

Laurie Logan                                         Mike Kadas

Rule Reviewer                                       Director of Revenue



Certified to the Secretary of State October 3, 2016.










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