Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway issued a subpoena Wednesday to the state Revenue Department to find out whether the agency is meeting deadlines for tax refunds.
Galloway said this was the first time she had to issue a subpoena to any government agency or department. Any interest paid on late refunds would be financed with taxpayer money, and would affect the budget. The department has agreed to provide information for previous years, but says it will not provide any information for the current tax year.
"We'll have my legal and my audit staff available at that time, along with a court reporter, so they can enter into the record what the information is that they (Revenue Department) are presenting to comply with the subpoena" Galloway said.
"The governor and his Department of Revenue are not being transparent with taxpayers", Galloway said. "House Democrats wholeheartedly support State Auditor Galloway's efforts to hold the Greitens administration accountable and ensure that it doesn't delay Missourians' tax refunds for a minute longer than necessary". Galloway criticized new Republican Gov. Eric Greitens' administration for lack of transparency. But for six weeks, the governor's office and the Department of Revenue have refused. In it, she noted the legislature passed a law two years ago reducing the number of days from 90-to-45 in which the state was allowed to process refunds without paying interest.
In a Wednesday morning press conference, the top-ranking statewide elected Democrat said that the Department of Revenue has repeatedly refused multiple requests to provide the State Auditor's Office with the number of people waiting on refunds or the number of days they've spent waiting. "This isn't the first wall that we've run into, and we're finding a trend here".More news: Posh day at palace: Victoria Beckham gets royal recognition
The subpoena calls for the records to be provided April 28.
Galloway says she is not requesting any personally identifiable taxpayer information.
"It is frustrating", she said.
State law requires income tax refunds be paid out within 45 days of filing. "We want to know if the department is complying with state law".