Revenue agency provides records after Missouri auditor subpoena

Nicole Galloway

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Department of Revenue provided records on tax refunds Thursday after the Democratic auditor issued a subpoena that the Republican governor’s spokesman claimed was a “political stunt.”

Auditor Nicole Galloway on Wednesday issued a subpoena for information to check whether the Revenue Department is meeting a 45-day deadline to issue tax refunds, as called for under state law. After that the state owes interest.

Galloway had said she waited six weeks for information from the Department of Revenue and said the new administration was not being transparent. The subpoena set an April 28 deadline.

Greitens’ spokesman Parker Briden criticized her actions as politically motivated.

“We were frankly really surprised that Auditor Galloway turned this into a political stunt instead of working on a real solution,” he said.

Galloway, in a statement Thursday, said she is hopeful that subpoenas “will not be necessary for my office to do its job protecting taxpayers” in the future.

Letters show that while the Revenue Department initially pushed back against some of Galloway’s requests, it appears to have relented on many records.

In an April 7 letter, new Revenue Director Joel Walters asked for more time because he started his job days earlier. Greitens, who took office in January, appointed the former partner at accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in February.

Walters wrote to Galloway again on Monday and pledged to provide some information by Friday.

He resisted on other fronts, writing that some objectives of the audit “clearly go beyond the auditor’s constitutional authority” and would require “releasing confidential taxpayer information.” Galloway has said she’s not looking for any “personally identifiable taxpayer information.”

The agency ultimately provided dozens of pages of documents, included reports on the total number of overdue tax refunds, and responded to some questions Walters previously had refused to answer.

Galloway said her office is reviewing the documents.