RALEIGH – Gov. Pat McCrory made official today what many had been expecting at the Department of Revenue. Jeff Epstein will be the new North Carolina Secretary of Revenue, replacing Lyons Gray at the helm of the department. McCrory made that announcement at an Executive Mansion ceremony Thursday afternoon, where he then appointed Gray to the North Carolina Utilities Commission as an interim replacement for Susan Rabon, who resigned from the commission effective Jan. 1.
“Lyons Gray will bring his considerable experience and common sense wisdom to the Utilities Commission, a regulatory body that affects nearly every North Carolina citizen,” said McCrory.
Epstein has been the department’s chief operating officer since 2013 and served as acting secretary for a short time in late 2013 while Gray was on medical leave. During Gray’s time at Revenue he focused on updating electronic filing, creating more taxpayer assistance centers, and rooting out tax fraud through the audit office. A native of Winston-Salem and former Bush appointee, Gray also served as senior adviser to the University of North Carolina system president and from 1989 to 2002 served six terms in the General Assembly, including as chairman of the House Finance Committee. He then went on to serve as the chief financial officer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“I’m very pleased with Governor McCrory’s selection of Jeff Epstein to serve as North Carolina’s next Secretary of Revenue,” said Gray. “Over the past three years our agency has made tremendous strides in the effort to combat fraud and improve customer service for the state’s taxpayers. Jeff has played an integral role in this process and I’m confident in his ability to lead this agency to continued success.”
Epstein is an alumnus of the Reagan administration and has a degree in finance from The American University. He worked in business and real estate in Charlotte before joining the McCrory administration.