A bill to set up a State office of the Taxpayer Advocate has advanced in Trenton.

The legislation has passed the State Senate Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee. The Advocate would assist taxpayers in resolving problems with the State Division of Taxation and help point out problems areas that need fixing by Trenton lawmakers. State Senator Diane Allen, the bill's sponsor, says, "we need to have somebody who is on top of all of the tax laws, who can say to folks, 'here's where your problem area is, here's what needs to be done'...or, more to the point, 'here's what we need to fix so you don't have to deal with that anymore."

Under the bill the Governor, with the advice and consent of the State Senate, would appoint the Taxpayer Advocate to a four-year term to administer the office.

One provision in the legislation would require the advocate to have some background in customer service. The Advocate would also be required to report annually to the Legislature on the office's activities, and the report would not be subject to any prior review by the State Treasurer.