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Former TRIM director Van Ark passes away

Word has reached us that former Missouri Public Expenditure Survey editor and director Robert “Bob” Van Ark passed away March 20 at the age of 83.

Mr. Van Ark was a decorated military filmmaker during the Korean War, earning a Bronze Star before his discharge in 1952. Bob attended Hope College in Holland Michigan where he earned his BA in 1956. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from Wayne State University in 1958.

Mr. Van Ark then came to Jefferson City to take a job at the Missouri Public Expenditure Survey (which later became the Taxpayer’s Research Institute of Missouri). During his time with MPES, the survey became indispensible as a watchdog of state government, with its annual compilation of tax facts and figures. The survey was the precursor to the current “accountability portal” operated online by the Missouri Office of Administration.

Bob worked for MPES/TRIM for 32 years before beginning work at the Missouri Tax Commission in 1990.

Mr. Van Ark was also widely known for his community service, especially with the Boy Scouts, Lions Club and the Salvation Army.

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