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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of Management & Finance

Bureau of Human Resources

Knowledgeable | Helpful | Responsive

Phone: 503-823-3572

Benefits Line: 503-823-6031

1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 987, Portland, OR 97204

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Seth Kabala

1) How and when did your employment journey begin with the City of Portland?

I worked in state government revenue operations for about six years right out of college. I moved from this into private accounting, then into management consulting. After three years away from public service, my family and I desired to return. I conducted a nationwide search, interviewing with agencies literally from coast-to-coast, landing (after traveling 2,000 miles from the Midwest) with the City of Portland – Revenue Division as the Division’s first full-time franchise/utility Revenue Auditor in 2015.

2) What is your current role?

After achieving success as the franchise/utility auditor, creating that program from scratch, management asked me to become the Division’s IRS Liaison and Disclosure Officer (a Senior Management Analyst class, soon to be Analyst II). That role manages and coordinates the Division’s efforts to thread Federal Tax Information into the Division’s local tax administration efforts, with the goal of boosting business tax compliance. I have held that role since February 2018.

3) Name one thing that you enjoy most or look forward to about your job?

I look forward to solving complicated business process and tax compliance problems because doing so increases monies the City has available to distribute to essential general-fund operations, such as police, fire, parks, etc. Tax compliance work might not be flashy, but it is essential to building robust funding streams for the City’s operations. I’m proud to be a part of reinforcing that funding.

4) What is one advice or tip would you give to those seeking employment with the City?

There’s more here than you think. The people here are more diverse than you think. The knowledge you will acquire and the opportunities available to you are more expansive than you think. I had always wanted to earn my CPA credential before I came here. With management’s assistance, I did just that while working full-time. I was the first person at the Division to earn their CPA cred using City experience, per my manager at the time. I’ve learned that if you think something’s impossible career-wise, ask somebody in authority. In my experience, good things come to those who take a chance and ask the impossible questions.