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Rauschenberger to seek re-election as ND tax commissioner

Ryan Rauschenberger Submitted photo

BISMARCK—Ryan Rauschenberger, who has had a stormy personal life that he said he's working to improve, is seeking re-election as North Dakota State Tax Commissioner, he announced Wednesday, Jan. 24.

Rauschenberger has served in this role since January 2014.

"I am extremely proud of the advancements the tax department has made to serve North Dakotans over the last four years, but there is more to be done and I look forward to the opportunity and challenge," Rauschenberger, a certified public accountant, said.

The department has improved its processing time for certain tax refunds and increased fraud protection for all North Dakota taxpayers, according to Rauschenberger, who cited the department has prevented more than 1,400 attempts of identity theft fraud since 2015, saving taxpayers more than $2 million.

As tax commissioner, Rauschenberger is the only statewide elected official serving on North Dakota's Legacy Fund advisory board, which oversees how the fund's dollars are invested. The Legacy Fund has received $4.04 billion in oil tax deposits since 2012. In the past year, the fund has had a total return on investment of 11.42 percent. The current value of the legacy fund is $4.958 billion. Realized earnings will start to flow from the Legacy Fund into the general fund, providing as much as $400 million in new funding this biennium.

As for his personal life, Rauschenberger's history with alcohol addiction has been widely reported.

"As I made public last fall, I was arrested for DUI," said Rauschenberger, a graduate of the University of North Dakota. "Since that time, I have dramatically improved my health and well-being, recommitting myself to the effort and working with an addiction counselor. These steps have all been done on my personal time and have not interfered with my service to the state."

The Friends of Ryan Rauschenberger campaign has raised $100,000 to date.

"I am gratified and humble by the outpouring of support and encouragement to run for re-election that I have received these last few months," said Rauschenberger, a Kenmare native. "I look forward to the coming campaign and the opportunity to highlight all that my staff and I have accomplished."

This will be Rauschenberger's second campaign for tax commissioner, having been appointed in November 2013 by then-Gov. Jack Dalrymple and elected by voters in 2014. Prior to his appointment, he served as deputy tax commissioner for nearly five years and worked at the Department of Commerce prior to that. He previously worked as an auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Minneapolis.