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Just 16% of MS tax refund calls answered last year

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According to a report from the department, only 16 percent of calls about tax refunds were answered last year. According to a report from the department, only 16 percent of calls about tax refunds were answered last year.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

As some frustrated Mississippians continue to wait for their state tax refunds, there are finally answers about what's taking so long.

The Mississippi Department of Revenue presented its budget Thursday and said the department is so understaffed that calls aren't getting answered.

According to a report from the department, only 16 percent of calls about tax refunds were answered last year. Part of the budget pitch was for more than $4 million to add 92 positions.

"The reason they're not responding is not that they don't want to talk to the citizens but they don't have the staff to do so," said State Sen. Willie Simmons, who is a member of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.

The department's new processing system caught more errors than usual only adding to the slow down.

"We need to have people to look at what the computer finds to determine whether or not that makes a good refund," said Kathy Waterbury with the Department of Revenue.

The department of revenue believes its request stands out from the others.

"It gets back to the fact that everything that we do is money producing. It's revenue producing and everything that we do helps the other agencies," Waterbury said.

Speaker Philip Gunn agreed.

"We certainly want to give them every tool they need to collect the revenue that is due to the state of Mississippi," Gunn said.

The biggest chunk from the Revenue Department's budget is to upgrade the system that processes car tag and title requests.

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