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Audit: Missouri increasingly late on income tax refunds

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - Missouri's state auditor has slammed Governor Eric Greitens’ administration for paying out tax refunds later and later. At a Monday press conference in St. Louis, Democratic State Auditor Nicole Galloway claims she and her staff faced repeated delays and an unwillingness by the  Republican administration of Governor Greitens to provide requested documents. Galloway said that for the last two years the state has been late in paying out one in every four refunds.

Last spring, Galloway issued a subpoena to obtain information on the state’s management of income. She says her audit shows the state paid other expenses before paying tax refunds.

"My office was met with a lack of cooperation, numerous delays in responses and communication, refusal by the administration to even to discuss the audit, and most troubling, a refusal to confirm that all information was provided. As this audit shows my office will not be deterred from protecting taxpayer dollars by a lack of cooperation from the administration or government secrecy trying to hinder our work.”

Galloway did say the delay in sending out taxpayer funds dates back to the administration of Democratic Governor Jay Nixon

A spokesperson for Governor Greitens said the administration provided everything that the auditor was entitled to, which is why she had to withdraw her subpoena. The spokesperson went on to say, "Her stunts were simply an attempt for headlines."

The state paid roughly $423,000 in interest on late refunds to nearly 155,000 taxpayers last fiscal year. That's up from fiscal year 2016, when the state paid about $306,000 in interest for about 83,000 late refunds.