Missouri tapping stimulus money to pay tax refunds

Thursday, May 21, 2009 | 2:47 p.m. CDT; updated 4:50 p.m. CDT, Thursday, May 21, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri is using $250 million of federal economic stimulus money to pay state income tax refunds.

Gov. Jay Nixon's administration said Thursday that it has transferred stimulus money into the state's general revenue fund to accelerate payment of tax refunds. It said the $250 million should clear up virtually the entire backlog of refunds for the 2008 tax year.

Last month, the state acknowledged it was delaying tax refunds for so that it could meet other cash flow demands such as paying employees, public schools and medical providers.

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Mike Sykuta May 22, 2009 | 8:13 a.m.

Something tells me the State would not be very forgiving if my employer (or I) decided to delay paying the tax withholding from my paycheck in order to meet other expenses or to avoid laying off more people. I'm reasonably certain the State would also frown on any retailer that failed to submit its sales tax revenues in a timely way.

Why is there so little concern or angst among the media or the public that the State is effectively borrowing money from people who are owed refunds...and not paying interest on it? If the State is going to be late in paying refunds, should it not be required to pay the same kind of late fees or interest it charges on late tax payments?

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hasture kole May 22, 2009 | 9:57 a.m.

I cannot believe that you are not falling in line with all of the other mindless sheep, trusting that the government is conducting business in the best interests for its citizens. How dare you think that the Department of Revenue would hold itself to a higher standard and remain accountable for its mistakes? The state is busy enough spending its federal stimulus money on itself, because of the loss of tax revenue from the unemployed rather than granting the money it was given to boost the economy. Using that money to keep unemployment from plummeting even further and to worry about correctly budgeting for these “unplanned forecasts” is not in the best interest for the state at this time!
As for the media and public not stepping up to protest these kind of issues, the media is only doing what was taught in the past and is publishing content so a third grader can understand it. News media outlets are not paid to ask questions to keep a government accountable to the public, or to report the news instead of just publishing a pre written statement from the capitol. The days of Woodward and Bernstein are dead, and as the public, we should accept that the integrity of a publication or its staff should not be in question.


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