State Department of Revenue Secretary Cynthia Bridges resigned Friday night following a news story alleging she expanded a tax break without telling the governor.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s spokesman, Kyle Plotkin, refused to comment on whether Jindal sought Bridges’ resignation.
Bridges could not be reached for comment. The governor declined to be interviewed.
The Jindal administration announced Bridges’ resignation late Friday in a news release naming her interim successor. Former state Rep. Jane Smith, R-Bossier City, will head the agency after working six months for the department.
“We appreciate Cynthia’s service and wish her well. We’re excited to have Jane serve as interim secretary. We look forward to working with her to implement pro-growth tax policies that will help our economy continue to grow,” the governor said in a prepared statement.
In her 12-year tenure as revenue secretary, Bridges served under multiple governors. Jindal retained her when he took office in 2008.
A two-page resignation letter dated Friday focused on what she considered her career highlights as secretary. She cited saving money on office rent, her employees’ volunteer spirit during hurricanes and building relationships with taxpayers.
Bridges expressed appreciation for her work with employees, executive staff, tax practitioners, tax administrators, legislators and governors.
“I bid you, your team and the citizens of Louisiana farewell,” she wrote.
Left unmentioned was a Monroe News-Star article about an alternative fuel tax credit that Bridges expanded and the governor this week halted.
The credit, which began with legislation sponsored by Smith, applies to a percentage of the purchase price on certain popular cars.
Bridges expanded the list of applicable cars, allegedly without telling the governor. The expansion threatened to create revenue problems for the state and prompted complaints from legislators even as they filed paperwork to claim the credit.
The governor ended the expansion Thursday, a day before Bridges’ resignation.