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David Cetra: State will offer IOU’s

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Posted: February 17, 2009 12:55 a.m.
Updated: February 17, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Now that it is official that the state will be issuing IOUs instead of sending out state income tax refund checks to those taxpayers who have determined that they should receive one, I have a few questions and comments for those who are supposed to represent us in our state government, as well as the California taxpayer, to ponder.

I particularly want to address my comments to the democratically controlled Legislature and Gov. Schwarzenegger.

Can the state legally withhold refunds that are owed to a taxpayer, even after it has been determined that the taxpayer is owed a refund?

If the answer is no, does the taxpayer have any recourse to pursue some type of litigation or case action proceeding in order to force the state to start issuing refunds rightfully owed to the taxpayer, since the state has in essence already spent money that should have been set aside for the refunds?

Thirdly, most tax-collecting agencies, such as the IRS, impose additional penalties (in the form of extra fees and added interest percentages) to those individuals and corporations who either do not pay enough in taxes, or who are late with paying their taxes.

My final question, then, is this: Can the taxpayer request that such penalties and added interest be applied to the refund money owed to them by the state if the state does not provide a refund by a certain date?

Any common-sense-thinking California taxpayer reading this column will more than likely already know the answers to these questions, given the way the government operates and protects itself, but I figured I would still like to ask them anyway.

I am not kidding when I ask these questions because even if the state government has been irresponsible with its fiscal budgets, why should hard-working U.S. citizens, who are responsible with their family finances, have to receive an IOU, instead of getting the money rightfully owed to them from the benefits of their labor?

If every household in America would run its finances similar to the way our governments keeps running theirs, America would probably rank as one of the poorest nations in the world.

Finally, I think Ronald Reagan said it best when he made the point, "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

David Cetra is a Valencia resident. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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