First round interviews begin

September 27, 2010
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From IL reporter Michael Hoskins, who is sitting in on the interviews today.

Martha Wentworth
Talking about her 20-year career that’s been directed at state taxation, Martha Wentworth said she never thought this opportunity would arise. This would be the “culmination or pinnacle” of giving back to her state, and she’s committed to the tax court mission and hopes to protect, preserve, and hopefully enhance that mission. She has been attracted to tax law since law school and describes this area of law as “wonder-filled.” Wentworth likes taking complex items and making them simple for people to understand, she said.

Wentworth said she’s seen the devastating impact on taxpayers because of an adverse tax decision, while she’s also worked closely with the state Department of Revenue and knows how significant those rulings can be for the agencies and government. Asked about the Town of St. John ruling that significantly altered state tax law, and she said she wasn’t sure how she would have ruled on that issue. Access and transparency on the court is important in helping people understand these tax laws, she said.

George Angelone
Being a judge is the highest aspiration one can have, and he said you need both temperament and skill. An attorney for the Legislative Services Agency for the past three decades, he’s focused on reviewing tax and public finance work and he said the LSA is one of the only places where you can get volume and variety that the Tax Court receives. He knows the legislature, the legal environment, and is also committed to outreach to improve the profession. Says he can bring a methodical approach to analyze and applying the law, and knows how all the pieces fit together.

One commission member asked about how the Tax Court can assist when local governments, taxpayers, and businesses are troubled by taxes and tax law. Angelone said more can be done locally to improve the process. Two- or three-year waits aren’t efficient, and he hopes the bar in general and through CLE can help educate how items can be moved more quickly through the tax review process.

Hon. Karen Love
This would be the “natural evolution” of her career and she finds the subject matter of the Tax Court very interesting. She discussed with commission members what she calls the “ABCs” of this position, which she described as meaning the attitude of a judge, the balance she can bring based on her experience, and those critical aspects of clarity, consistency, and communication. She talked about her judicial and administrative experience and past practice as an attorney, her CPA work, as well as her 30 years of marriage to a farmer that has given her the perspective of a taxpayer.

Being on a bank board has helped her see the need for objective measures about cost and finances. She talked about her experience in helping draft Child Support Guidelines, and she said her Domestic Relations Committee experience has been the most rewarding and gave her a glimpse of how she can serve the entire state.

 

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