Gov. David Ige announced the appointment of Damien Elefante to be the deputy director of the Department of Taxation (DoTax). Elefante’s appointment follows the departure of Joe Kim, who moved to the private sector in July.
Following graduation from Kailua High School, Elefante earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He went on to receive a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law.
Elefante brings to the position more than a decade of experience working on tax issues for the state. Most recently he served as the compliance coordinator in the department of taxation. Prior to that he was the deputy attorney general who represented the state’s interest in contested tax-related cases. Involved in litigating and appearing before Federal and State Courts in Hawai‘i, he collected over $50 million for the benefit of the state. Prior to joining the state, Elefante worked at Hisaka Stone Goto Yoshida Cosgrove & Ching, and served as a law clerk for Chief Judge James S. Burns at the Intermediate Court of Appeals.
“Damien will be a valuable part of the team implementing the Tax System Modernization program, which will transform the operations of the department. He understands the need to maintain the department’s consistent and fair practices on behalf of all taxpayers in the state,” said Gov. Ige.
“I am honored to serve as the deputy director and grateful to Gov. Ige for giving me the opportunity to be part of his administration. I am eager to carry out his mission for the Tax Department to ‘modernize our tax system, increase efficiency for taxpayers and hold accountable those who do not pay their taxes.’ I look forward to working with the legislature and the community,” Elefante said.
Mr. Elefante’s appointment is subject to Senate approval.