R. Bruce Johnson
Bruce Johnson was appointed to serve as a Commissioner of the Utah State Tax Commission by Governor Michael Leavitt in October, 1998. The Tax Commission is comprised of four commissioners who have the constitutional duty to administer and supervise all of the tax laws of the state, including property tax, income tax, franchise tax, sales tax and all miscellaneous taxes. The Commissioners promulgate rules, advise the legislature and governor on tax issues, and adjudicate tax disputes.
Prior to his appointment, Bruce was a partner in the law firm of Holme Roberts & Owen LLP, where he litigated state and local tax disputes and advised clients on state and local tax issues, tax exemption issues, and issues relating to tax exempt municipal financing. Before joining Holme Roberts, he was a trial attorney for the Tax Division of the U. S. Department of Justice.
Bruce graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in accounting, cum laude, and is a Certified Public Accountant. He received his law degree, magna cum laude, from Brigham Young University, where he was a J. Reuben Clark Scholar.
He has frequently written on state and local tax issues and has testified before legislative committees or study groups in Alaska, California, Idaho, Kansas, Oregon and Utah, as well as the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform. He was the founding national Co-chair of the Streamlined Sales Tax Implementing States, a group of over 40 states working with taxpayers to simplify compliance with state and local sales taxes across the country. He now serves on the Executive Committee of the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board. He was a member of former Governor Olene Walker’s Tax Advisory Group, and was the principal draftsman of Governor Walker’s Recommendations on a Tax Structure for Utah’s Future. He is also a member of the Utah Tax Review Commission. He is a past Chair of the Multistate Tax Commission, and currently serves on its Executive Committee. He is also a Board Member of the National Tax Association. He is a recent past Chair of the American Bar Association Tax Section Committee on State and Local Taxes. He was named Distinguished Tax Practitioner of the Year for 1994-1995 by the Tax Section of the Utah Bar. He also received an Outstanding Trial Attorney Award from the Department of Justice.