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Department of Revenue establishes new Office of Public Engagement to create pathways toward equity

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ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Revenue today announced the establishment of an Office of Public Engagement. The new office will focus on building relationships with community leaders with an emphasis on reaching underrepresented populations. Led by new Public Engagement Director Audel Shokohzadeh, the office will enhance the department’s ability and capacity to listen, learn from, and demonstrate responsiveness to communities most impacted and rarely engaged around tax policy.

“We know that tax policy decisions impact communities in different ways, often depending on their socioeconomic, racial, and geographical makeup,” said Revenue Commissioner Robert Doty. “Establishing this first-of-its-kind office within the department will position us to not only gain valuable input from community leaders and organizations impacted by state tax policies and practices, but to use that input to educate the public and policymakers about how to advance equity when making tax policy decisions in Minnesota.”

The new Office of Public Engagement reflects Revenue’s commitment to expanding its network of and relationships with community leaders and organizations. The office will work with divisions across the department to build relationships and gather input around existing outreach efforts and opportunities to expand and enhance approaches for engagement in communities across Minnesota.

“I’m excited to lead this new office to enhance and expand on the amazing outreach work already done at the department,” said Public Engagement Director Audel Shokohzadeh. “Thoughtful public engagement can be a powerful tool to develop new, equity-driven proposals. By ensuring those most impacted by tax policy help advance the equity of tax policies and procedures, we can better serve every person in every corner of Minnesota.”

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Ryan Brown
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