One of my most popular posts is about Alabama State Tax refunds. There are over 9 pages of comments — full of people anxiously waiting for the state to send out their refund.
Thankfully many of the readers that have commented on that post are reporting they have received their refunds. It seems they are starting to get things under control at the Education Trust Fund.
I recently ran across another state that is delaying sending out tax refunds: Rhode Island. Here’s an overview from the article:
Overall, the state has delayed payment of about 53,000 individual income-tax refunds â€” totaling about $36.3 million â€” to make sure it has enough money to pay off state borrowings that come due in June, said Paul L. Dion, chief of the state Office of Revenue Analysis.
53,000 refunds is a lot, but I’m guessing it is less than the number of people in Alabama.
Rhode Island Tax Refund Legislation
So why am I mentioning Rhode Island?
It’s simple: the state is actually working to get refunds to taxpayers quickly, even to the point of changing a law.
The law in question is similar to Alabama’s law. If after a certain date refunds have not been sent out, then taxpayers get interest on the difference. The rate currently for Rhode Island is 3.25%.
What would the new rate be? 4%? 5%? Just enough to make it look like the state “cared” about the citizens?
The new interest rate would be 18%.
Now that’s truly caring about your citizens. Here’s one more quote:
Meanwhile, several legislators on Tuesday introduced a bill (H 8167) that would force the state to pay interest sooner than required on delayed refunds.
One of the billâ€™s sponsors, state Rep. John J. Loughlin II, R-Tiverton, said, â€œItâ€™s a fundamental issue of fairness.â€ Refunds represent â€œmoney that belongs to the people who earned it,â€ and the state should pay them promptly, said Loughlin, a candidate for Congress.
This may be a political ploy to try and get elected for Congress. (It doesn’t mention if the bill ever passed.) Nonetheless it would make me feel like my state legislators actually cared about balancing the budget and getting my tax refund to me.
Sadly, I don’t get that feeling in Alabama.