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Senator Winner wants taxpayers to receive their state income tax refunds within 30 days.

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Albany, N.Y.—State Senator George Winner (R-C-I, Elmira) has introduced legislation to require the state to provide personal income tax refunds within 30 days after a taxpayer files a return.

“Albany’s leaders shouldn’t be allowed to keep making taxpayers the scapegoats for this fiscal crisis,” said Winner, noting that the 2009-2010 state budget enacted by Governor David Paterson and legislative leaders last April increased state taxes and fees by more than $8 billion, in addition to the elimination of the STAR property tax rebate program.  “State and local taxpayers shouldn’t be the first place to turn when Albany goes looking for a way out of a fiscal challenge.  It’s a mindset that has to end.”

The Senate Republican conference has offered a plan to respond to New York’s long-term, deep-rooted fiscal crisis by taking actions to encourage economic growth, cut government waste, and permanently cap state spending.

Winner noted that he introduced the 30-day tax refund repayment measure prior to last week’s news reports that the Paterson administration is considering delaying payment of state income tax refunds to thousands of state taxpayers as a deficit reduction tool. 

Winner said, however, that the Paterson plan has highlighted the need for legislation to put a stop to the practice.

“Taxpayers should receive timely refunds,” Winner said.  “It’s their money, and they need it.  It’s a terrible economic time to ask hard-pressed taxpayers to wait a little longer for a tax return that they’ve earned.”

Winner’s legislation is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester), chairman of the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions.

Under the legislation (S.3985/A.5100), the state Department of Taxation and Finance would be required to pay a taxpayer's refund within 30 days after receiving the taxpayer’s filing.