Gov. Dunleavy names interim Revenue Department chief

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has named a longtime state official the interim head of the Alaska Department of Revenue.

Mike Barnhill, who lately has worked as policy director for the Alaska Office of Management and Budget, will start Tuesday as the state’s top taxman, the governor’s office announced Monday evening. Barnhill will replace Bruce Tangeman, who announced two weeks ago that he would resign due to differences over the state budget.

The replacement comes at a key moment: The Department of Revenue on Friday is expected to publish the state’s revenue forecast for the coming year. The forecast is the foundation of the state’s annual budget, which must be released by Dec. 15.

With no permanent replacement yet named for now-departed OMB director Donna Arduin, both of the state’s top budget jobs are filled by temporary officials.

Barnhill has an undergraduate degree from the College of Wooster and a law degree from Cornell Law School. He worked as an assistant attorney general specializing in oil and gas issues for the Alaska Department of Law. He subsequently served as deputy commissioner for the Alaska Department of Administration and then as deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Revenue before moving to OMB.

James Brooks

James Brooks was a Juneau-based reporter for the ADN from 2018 to May 2022.