Gov. Parson announces acting director for Department of Revenue

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JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson announced Ken Zellers as the acting director of the Department of Revenue on Friday.

Zellers is currently serving as Chief Operating Officer for the Department of Revenue. 

According to a news release, Parson on Thursday received a letter of resignation from Joel Walters, the department's director, stating his last day at the department will be on March 22. 

“I have full confidence that the Department of Revenue will continue providing excellent service to the people of Missouri,” Parson said in the release.

Walters faced backlash from other lawmakers in his role of altering the state’s withholding tables after the federal tax cut went into effect in 2018.

The Department of Revenue notified taxpayers about the error, which committee members call a lack of communication.

Democratic Representative Kip Kendrick said the Department of Revenue didn't share the mistake with citizens.

"The department did not share a press release from September talking about how their tax returns could be different," he said. 

Critics said the problem could cost thousands of Missouri taxpayers on their state income tax returns for 2018.

House Republican Speaker Elijah Haahr R-Springfield, said in a statement, "The resignation of the Director is an important step forward, but the department has much more work to do to regain the trust of the public. I’ve asked the committee to continue its work in investigating this issue and working with the new director to ensure Missouri taxpayers are protected.”

House Budget Chairman Cody Smith, R-Carthage said.“Regardless of the turmoil or any leadership change inside the Department of Revenue, the House of Representatives will pass a balanced budget this session.”

Kendrick said moving Zellers as acting director is a move in the right direction, but will need to be more transparent with lawmakers and citizens.

Zellers will become the acting director March 23rd.