The news out of our state capital that made me want to yell at an elected official or throw up my arms in frustration – or both – had nothing to do with the governor caught with his pants down.
Needless to say, it was disappointing to see the photo of “Team Greitens” on Friday. The Gov was looking like he was itching for a fight and his wife, Sheena looking as though she was either moving her husband to the guest room or she had just taken a bite of a rancid pickle – or both.
No, the news which made a difference to me was from the State Auditor’s office on Monday.
Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit of the timeliness of income tax refunds by the Department of Revenue that revealed refunds to taxpayers have been increasingly delayed at the direction of that office and the Office of Administration.
The auditor noted that the current Governor’s administration had attempted to obstruct the audit work.
The number of late refunds, the audit said, has escalated over the last several years, but was at its worst in 2017 with 155,000 refunds paid with late interest, an increase of 86 percent.
“That was in addition to the number of refunds paid late with no interest – at least 400,000,” read the audit.
WHAT? It seems that the Office of Administration directed the Department of Revenue not to pay the refunds because other spending priorities came first. The report also noted that taxpayers – you know, us – pay a higher interest rate when making late tax payments than the state is required to pay on delayed refunds. A $250 refund would not include an interest payment paid by the state until it was a year late!
What if we decide we don’t want to pay “Team Greitens” on time?
“If a taxpayer is late paying tax to the state, they are charged 4% interest and a 5% penalty,” noted the audit.
“The administration is balancing its checkbook on the backs of individual taxpaying Missourians – that is simply unacceptable,” Auditor Gallaoway said in her news release.
“Unacceptable ” is a kind word to be using.
That look Sheena Greitens was giving her husband on Thursday?
That’s the look I would like to give our governor over this mess.
The auditor’s office faced repeated delays and unwillingness by “Team Greitens” to provide requested documentation. Last spring, Galloway actually issued a subpoena in order to obtain information on the state’s management of income tax refunds. At the conclusion of the audit, read the release, “the administration refused to provide the standard written assurance it had not withheld relevant inforation from the audit staff.”
So…..Gov. Greitens is screwing around on his wife?
It seems the governor is screwing the people of Missouri on their tax refunds. It seems pretty clear that Team Greitens doesn’t care about who he hurts – the people of the Show-Me State or his wife – as long as his key contributors realize that “This is a political hit piece.”
Don’t think for a minute that I care which team Gov. Greitens plays for. In fact, he has been on both teams – a former Democrat, he now is on the Republlican team.
Regardless of party, what Auditor Galloway has told us is that while the big shot contributors – yes, you Rex Sinquefeld – continue to pull the strings of politics and play to the political emotions of everyday people, it is the average worker who still gets the shaft.