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Revenue Department Announces New Initiatives and the Closure of District Offices

December 20, 2012

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) will begin to implement a strategic series of decisions that will result in greater efficiency across the agency. All divisions are in the process of a systematic review of services and outcomes that directly impact Louisiana.

Recent decisions of LDR leadership include: in light of anticipated tax reform the suspension of two agency-wide technology projects; the purchase and installation of a modern telephone system that will enhance productivity by allowing agency personnel who directly interface with taxpayers to more quickly respond to taxpayer needs; the announcement of a retirement incentive package that will be made available to all eligible employees by the end of the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2013; a significant reduction of unclassified personnel; a review of the current organizational structure; the addition of fifteen new auditors; the addition of two new criminal investigators; the installation of anti-fraud software to identify tax evasion(s); the installation of new software to prevent tax refund fraud; a refocus of employee cross training that will streamline processes and customer service; the closure of district offices in Alexandria, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, Shreveport, Dallas, TX, and Houston, TX without any layoffs of district office employees.

“This agency is committed to living within its means by focusing on efficiency initiatives and adjusting our goals to better respond to Louisiana taxpayers,” stated Tim Barfield LDR Executive Counsel. “We have put into place measurable goals for each division that will hold us accountable to the citizens of Louisiana.”

While the brick and mortar district offices will be closed, all employees in the district offices will be retained. Almost four years ago, LDR began the Mobile Tax Service (MTS) to enhance field collections and other taxpayer services. Through this provision of a virtual office on newly upgraded technology, MTS agents have access to everything required to provide efficient and effective taxpayer assistance. MTS enhancements include a new ability to track employee productivity, allow MTS agents greater confidential access to taxpayer data, and provide greater sense of connection to headquarters via an office program on the laptop of each field agent.

“Taxpayers in each of these regions will be able to contact LDR, and when appropriate, personally meet with a field agent at their convenience,” Barfield said. “Based on our calculations, relieving ourselves of the need for office space in each of these regions will save LDR approximately $0.5 million annually.”