Among the state Tax Commission’s efforts to “mitigate” the potential $7.5 million loss in state revenue due to cutting year-round temporary audit workers as part of state budget cuts, are shifting additional duties to full-time employees, re-evaluating all support positions, some additional automation that’s in the works, modifying procedures where appropriate, and reassigning and reprioritizing some audit work to full-time auditors. The Tax Commission started charging taxpayers for the convenience fees for credit card payments or electronic checks on Jan. 1, saving an estimated $2 million a year. But the cutbacks are impacting services in the form of slower response to taxpayer inquiries, Commission Chairman Royce Chigbrow reported to lawmakers. He concluded his budget presentation with this note: “Not all impacts can be mitigated.”
Also, in response to lawmakers’ questions, Tax Commission officials said some taxpayers are now choosing to send in checks rather than pay the 3 percent fee for a credit card payment; that actually creates other processing costs that aren’t present in electronic transactions.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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