Gov.-elect Nikki Haley tapped a veteran accountant and business executive Wednesday to be the director of South Carolina's Revenue Department, saying he will adopt a business-friendly approach to tax collections that makes employers feel helped, not threatened.
Since 2009, James Etter has been vice president and chief financial officer of Norco Equipment, a maker of forestry equipment. Haley praised his three decades as a certified public accountant in the public and corporate arena, noting he's a former self-employed financial consultant who understands bankruptcy court.
Etter "knows what it's like to be on the other side of the red tape," Haley said in introducing the 68-year-old Blythewood resident as her pick for the tax agency. "You're looking at a wealth of experience."
She made the announcement at a news conference outside her transition team's office on Statehouse grounds.
Haley said Etter understands that customers service is key as businesses struggle in the economic downturn, and his agency will work with companies on payment plans and other assistance.