An Open Letter From the Chairman of the Board of Tax Analysts</div>
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Tax Analysts is now 40 years old. I can’t believe it. It seems like yesterday when I got a call from Tom Field, who worked in Treasury and was my most reliable source of information about oil industry tax subsidies when I worked for Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis. Tom wanted to know whether I would join with a small group of like-minded citizens to push for tax reform. After getting permission from Sen. Proxmire, I signed on for what has turned out to be a far more successful operation than any of us ever dreamed of.
We rapidly discovered that even the most reform-minded foundations were uninterested in funding tax reform, for fairly obvious reasons. More importantly, we discovered that we weren’t sure what tax reform meant in every situation. Fortunately, because of Tom’s drive and flexibility, we discovered that lawyers and accountants who considered themselves tax experts were willing to pay what we considered exorbitant sums for accurate, timely information. Tax Notes was born.
As time went on, Tax Notes paved the way for Tax Notes International, State Tax Notes, and CD-ROMs, and current websites, Tax.com and Tax.org, which we acquired because of Tom’s foresight. And the staff grew too. No longer a little band of beleaguered staffers who did everything, we were able to attract people like Lee Sheppard and Marty Sullivan, whose articles are must-reads for anyone who deals with tax policy.
When Tom decided to retire, his hand-picked successor, Chris Bergin, was ready and able to carry on our goal of providing accurate and timely information to decision-makers. Under his leadership we were able to sell the various pieces of real estate that Tax Analysts had acquired and build a modern building that could house all of our employees under one roof. We have also managed to improve the breadth and timeliness of the information we provide through the use of the Web and technology that I must admit I don’t understand. That we continue to be the premier force in generating current awareness is due to our dedicated staff and board, who care about getting our tax and economic policy right by presenting as much accurate information as possible from whatever source is available.
It's been a hell of a run, and while sometimes we came all too close to financial shoals, I am confident that the next 40 years will see us become even more relevant to the tax and economic discussions that we all know we must have.
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