State News

Perdue wants NC refund delays to stop

Posted January 4, 2011 1:28 p.m. EST
Updated January 4, 2011 7:09 p.m. EST

— North Carolina residents won't have to wait for months to get their tax refunds this year if Gov. Beverly Perdue gets her way.

Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said Tuesday that the governor has told Revenue Secretary David Hoyle and Budget Director Charlie Perusse to find a way to pay refunds to individual tax filers within 30 to 45 days of receiving their returns.

The Revenue Department took heat in 2009 and 2010 for delaying refund payments because the poor economy was making cash tight in government coffers.

"It's important to get this money that's owed to them back as quickly as they've had to pay the state," Hoyle said. "I think it would be good for the economy to put money back into people's hands at a time they probably need their refunds more than ever, and we're going to do that."

Hoyle and Perusse are working on a way to meet Perdue's timeline.

One option is short-term borrowing so the state can cover bills and still repay taxpayers. Borrowing would cost less than the interest the state pays on overdue refunds, officials said.

Once the state's cash flow improves, the loans would be repaid.