JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway issued a subpoena to the Department of Revenue to submit information on its management of income tax refunds Wednesday.
Galloway first requested the information from the DOR to conduct an audit to make sure taxpayers are receiving their tax refunds within the 45-day limit required by law.
Galloway said her office has asked the DOR many times in the past six weeks for the information. She said it had agreed on Monday to only release information regarding past fiscal years, but not the current one.
"If the new administration intends to operate behind a wall of secrecy, I will use the full authority of my office to ensure transparency and accountability when taxpayer dollars are involved," Galloway said.
She said the purpose of the audit is to make sure the DOR is refunding taxpayers within 45 days of the submitted returns and, if not, paying the interest required by law.
Galloway said she didn't want to issue a subpoena to the DOR but had to because it wasn't complying.
"While issuing a subpoena is a very unusual and serious step, I will do what it takes in order to stand and defend taxpayers," Galloway said.
Galloway told ABC 17 News that her staff has met with the governor's office to try and get the information. She said the governor is the one who directed the DOR to not release the information.
"This is an unprecedented level of uncooperation and secrecy that we have seen. You know, there is a lack of transparency in state governments and it's being directed by the governor's office," Galloway said.
If the DOR does not hand over the information requested by April 28, the auditor's office will take the department to court.