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Bill Thompson named to new Alabama Tax Tribunal

Published 9:00pm Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Governor Robert Bentley has appointed Chief Administrative Law Judge Bill Thompson to serve as the first chief judge of the newly established Alabama Tax Tribunal.

On Oct. 1, 2014, the Taxpayer Fairness Act will go into effect, which abolishes the current Administrative Law Division of the Alabama Department of Revenue. All personnel and equipment of the former Administrative Law Division will be transferred to the new agency.

Thompson said the Alabama Tax Tribunal is basically a state version of a federal tax court.

“A taxpayer can appeal to the new tax tribunal for any tax-related dispute they have,” Thompson said. “This takes me out from under the Department of Revenue and creates a new, independent executive branch agency and removes any appearance of a conflict of interest.”

Thompson was the first and only chief judge of the former Administrative Law Division, serving since 1983 and presiding over more than 22,000 cases. Thompson graduated from Auburn University in 1973 with a degree in finance, and obtainted his JD from the University of Alabama Law School in 1976.

“I am honored to be named the first Chief Tax Tribunal judge,” Thompson said. “I hope I can continue to serve fairly. Taxpayers deserve a fair impartial judge when they go to court, and that’s what I have always tried to be.”

The Tribunal will be based in Montgomery, where it will conduct hearings, but it also has the authority to hold hearings anywhere in the state.

The Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear and determine nearly all the appeals that were pending with the Department of Revenue’ Administrative Law Division prior to October 1, 2014.

Thompson is an Alexander City Native that lives with his wife Sandy on Lake Martin.