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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Mark W. Degler, an attorney and adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, will help the Russian government draft a new tax code.

Chosen by the U.S. Treasury Department, Degler leaves Aug. 10 on a one-year assignment in Moscow to advise the deputy minister of finance, Sergei Shatolov, Russia’s highest-ranking tax official.

“The goal is to put in place a tax system that will encourage the development of a free-market economy in Russia and that will fit with a free-market economy,” Degler said.

“It presumably will be significantly more simple than our current U.S. (tax) system.”

The existing Russian tax policy was adopted after the fall of communism, Degler said. “It’s not a very good system; it generally doesn’t follow sound principles of tax policy,” he said.

Degler, who specializes in tax law, also will advise President Boris Yeltsin’s legal advisors, the state tax service (the equivalent of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service) and the tax police.

After graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UT-Chattanooga, Degler earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. He was executive editor of the Virginia Tax Review in 1987-88. He has visited Russia three times.

Contact: Mark Degler (615-756-6600)