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R.I. Department of Revenue appoints new tax administrator

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Robert S. Hull, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Revenue, today announced the appointment of Neena S. Savage to serve as Rhode Island Tax Administrator, overseeing the Rhode Island Division of Taxation.

"Making government work better for people and getting our fiscal house in order are key components to moving our state forward," Hull said. "Neena has served as the interim Tax Administrator and is well-versed in all aspects of Rhode Island tax functions. She is committed to continuous improvements, having overseen the successful implementation of a new tax system, which was completed both on schedule and on budget."

Savage, of Warwick, an attorney with over 25 years of legal experience in the non-profit, public, and private sectors, became Acting Tax Administrator in December 2015, succeeding David M. Sullivan, who stepped down to take a job in the private sector. She joined the Division of Taxation in February 2015 as Associate Director of Revenue Services and Assistant Tax Administrator.

Neena holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University and a Juris Doctorate from the Washington College of Law of the American University. She lives in Warwick with her husband, Bob and has two children, Nicholas and Natasha.

She entered State service in 1997 at the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (DBR) where she held a number of positions in her 18-year career, eventually becoming Acting Deputy Director and Executive Counsel. While at DBR, she became experienced in all facets of regulatory enforcement and in the ever-increasing and dynamic pace at which commerce and especially e-commerce presents unique governmental challenges and opportunities. In addition to her regulatory enforcement work, she worked on the implementation of online insurance and banking licensing systems and collaborated with key public and private sector banking representatives to tackle emerging cybersecurity challenges in the banking sector.

"Rhode Island is at a critical moment in its history," Savage said. "We are aligning the efforts of the government, business, and nonprofit sectors to spark an economic resurgence. I am excited and honored for the opportunity to help strengthen and improve the way the Division serves Rhode Islanders."

Division of Taxation

As Tax Administrator, she is responsible for providing the overall guidance and direction of the Division of Taxation, which has approximately 230 employees and an expenditure budget of $23.7 million for the current fiscal year. The Division administers more than 50 tax types and fees and is projected to collect approximately $3.2 billion in revenue for the current fiscal year. The Division is part of the Department of Revenue, which also oversees the Lottery, Motor Vehicles, and Municipal Finance Divisions, as well as the Office of Revenue Analysis.

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