Missouri is paying tax refunds later and later, audit finds
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit Monday morning describing how taxpayer refunds have been intentionally delayed by the Office of Revenue and the Office of Administration.
The press release for the audit said the state was paying other expenses before the taxpayer refunds.
For instance, in 2017 the Department of Revenue had $200 million ready to be given out as refunds. However, the audit said the "Office of Administration directed not to pay the refunds because other spending priorities came first."
The following is a statement released from Governor Eric Greitens' office:
The audit also said Missouri decreasing cash balance has slowed the refunds.
Missouri Taxpayer Joshua Naponiello said he's not impressed.
"I think the taxpayers should come first. I mean they're making us foot most of their bills in the first place, so I mean it would make sense that they should be giving us our money back," he said.
In 2017, 155,000 refunds were late and paid with interest. This resulted in an increase of 86 percent.
400,000 refunds were late and paid with no interest.
The state only pays interest if the total exceeds $1.
The audit said the state has been paying larger refunds first, to avoid larger interest penalties.
The audit can be read here.