Passion for tax policy: Meet Carollyn Lear, asst. NH Dept. of Rev commish

Carollynn Lear was confirmed by Executive Council on April 11

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On April 11, Carollynn Lear was confirmed by the Executive Council as the new Assistant Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (NHDRA). Lear has been with NHDRA since 2013 as assistant revenue council and tax policy analyst.

CONCORD, NH – Carollynn Lear of Dunbarton has been named the new assistant commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (NHDRA). As assistant commissioner, Lear is responsible for testifying at public hearings on behalf of NHDRA; overseeing all information technology projects; supervising all staff in the Administrative Unit; advising senior leadership on matters of tax, personnel, project management and contract management; and managing the Business Office, Legal Bureau, Hearings Bureau, Human Resources, Internal Auditor, and the Tax Policy and Legislative Group. Lear, an employee of NHDRA for nearly five years, was confirmed as assistant commissioner on April 11.

“I’m fortunate in that I was able to identify early on in my education and professional career that tax policy is where my passion was, and still very much is. I’ve always said that if I struck gold today I would still come to work tomorrow,” said Carollynn Lear, Assistant Commissioner of NHDRA. “I’m honored to drive new Department initiatives and continue my work to fulfill NHDRA’s mission of efficiently and fairly administering our state’s tax laws as the new assistant commissioner.”

Lear joined NHDRA in 2013 as assistant revenue counsel, in which she represented NHDRA before the Hearings Bureau and the Board of Tax and Land Appeals, and in Superior Court and New Hampshire Supreme Court in assistance to the Attorney General’s Office. She supported administrative rulemaking, operations, research and legal training for NHDRA staff. In 2015 she became NHDRA’s tax policy analyst – a position she held until becoming assistant commissioner. As the tax policy analyst, Lear was responsible for advising the commissioner on changes in rules, policies and procedures relating to New Hampshire tax law, and representing NHDRA before the General Court.

“Carollynn and I have been working side-by-side for years and have developed a deep understanding of how our skillsets complement each other in different scenarios,” said Lindsey Stepp, Commissioner of NHDRA. “We have already aligned as a team on our strategic approach to a number of initiatives NHDRA is focusing on, including technology innovation, customer service and communication strategies, and I am very enthusiastic about the knowledge and skills she provides to NHDRA, the State and our taxpayers as assistant commissioner.”

Lear received her Master of Laws in Taxation from Boston University School of Law in 2012 after finishing in the top five-percent at Roger Williams University School of Law, where she received her Juris Doctor in 2011. She received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Northeastern University in 2008. As she pursued her degrees, Lear’s legal background launched at the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General where she was a legal intern within the Trial Division and a constituent liaison. She also worked as a judicial clerk for a judge in Rhode Island Superior Court and as a law clerk at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island before joining NHDRA.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu nominated Lear for the position of assistant commissioner on March 21 – a position that stood vacant since former assistant commissioner Lindsey Stepp was confirmed as the first female commissioner of NHDRA on December 6, 2017.