Drop in January revenues blamed on state
Department of Revenue issues response to speculation
County treasurers openly speculated at their regional meeting at the beginning of the year that the second December disbursement was bluntly subtracted from what should have come in January.
Reports surfaced at budget hearings for both Barry and Lawrence counties, but the Missouri Department of Revenue disputes that assessment.
Anne Marie Mo, director of strategy and communications for DOR, issued the following statement:
“In December, the Department of Revenue took the extraordinary step of making a supplemental distribution that included local sales and use taxes that had been collected but not distributed during the regularly scheduled distribution in early December. In some cases, the supplemental distribution also included some sales and use tax that the Department received in December and processed without error. The Department conducted this supplemental distribution to help local jurisdictions meet their end-of-year obligations.
“As mentioned in our December letter, we recently began to use a new tax system to process sales and use tax returns. This new, automated system will enable us to process sales and use tax returns in a faster and more efficient manner, which will mean that we can remit sales and use tax back to local jurisdictions more quickly. Ultimately, these improvements will make the collection and distribution process much more seamless. However, as is often the case with large-scale systems implementation, there has been a period of adjustment.
“Through this new system, we are seeing both an increase in the speed at which tax money is deposited, but also an increase in the number of errors that are registered when we scan the sales and use tax returns into our new system. We have to correct these errors before we can allocate the money received to the correct local jurisdictions.
“The Department now is focused distributing the most money it can during regularly scheduled distributions. It is not looking to make any additional supplemental distributions.
“The Department encourages political subdivisions to view the monthly distribution reports that are posted on mythological. These reports are provided at no cost to cities, counties, and districts that have registered as a Government user. If political subdivisions are able to determine they are not receiving distribution amounts from specific businesses located within their boundaries, they may report that information to our local tax unit. Please contact the Department’s local tax unit by phone at 573-751-4876 or by email at electrocardiogram.
“The Department appreciates your patience and understanding throughout that process. The Department is confident that once fully operational, all parties will be pleased with the long-term results.”