Rick Reames III was appointed Director of the South Carolina Department of Revenue by Governor Nikki Haley on July 18, 2014 and unanimously confirmed by the South Carolina Senate on March 5, 2015. Reames has worked to reduce bureaucracy, streamline operations, and ensure fiscal responsibility and accountability of the state’s tax dollars. He is committed to fair and consistent administration of the law to reduce the overall tax burden for the citizens of South Carolina.
A private-sector attorney for 15 years, Reames brings expertise in all matters of state and local taxes and strong business acumen to his position as the state’s chief revenue officer. Reames has instituted strategic hiring practices to fill critical needs while simultaneously reducing duplicative and unnecessary positions. He has rebuilt a depleted legal team and significantly increased taxpayer education and public awareness, directing a nearly 300% increase from the previous year in the Department’s issuance of public policy guidance. This action reduces confusion over complicated government requirements, resolves legal ambiguities and makes it easier for taxpayers to comply with the law.
For the first time in agency history, Reames instituted a comprehensive measurement program to track key functions, evaluate performance, cut waste and achieve improvement. He has revamped the Department’s organizational structure to maximize efficiency and productivity and slashed the turnaround time of several key agency functions from averages of three to five weeks to just three to five days. In addition, Reames has implemented a number of cost-saving strategies such as privatizing the processing of paper tax returns for an estimated savings of $2 million over the next 10 years.
Reames has increased outreach efforts and collaboration with key stakeholders and created an internal culture that is service-focused and responsive to market needs. As a member of the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s Coordinating Council for Economic Development and chair of the Enterprise Zone Committee, Reames is actively involved in attracting new business, retaining existing business and creating the necessary jobs to advance South Carolina. He is also a member of the Board of Economic Advisors responsible for setting state economic and fiscal policy.
Reames is a member of the Federation of Tax Administrators Board of Trustees and previously served as delegate to the South Carolina Bar House of Governors and as chair of both the Joint NC-SC Tax Conference and South Carolina Bar Association Tax Section. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Wofford College, a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and a Master of Laws in taxation from New York University School of Law. Reames is originally from Florence, SC, and currently resides in Columbia with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children.