Legislator wants hearing on tax refund debt cards

State Rep. Jim Fannin said Monday morning that he plans to hold a special hearing on the debit cards being used to issue refunds on state tax returns.

Fannin, D-Jonesboro, complained that legislators had little input on shift from paper checks to debit cards.

“It’s a gimmick in my mind and I’m troubled with the gimmicks,” he said during a meeting of the House Committee on Appropriations.

The switch to the debit cards dominated the state revenue department’s budget presentation during a review of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s $25.5 billion proposed spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Legislators said constituents are flooding them with complaints about the cards.

“They want their check,” state Rep. James Armes, D-Leesville, said of his constituents.

State Rep. Roy Burrell, D-Shreveport, said some taxpayers tossed the cards in the trash because they thought they were a promotional offer from a credit card company.

“I realize more probably could have been done in the area of educating our citizens,” state Department of Revenue Secretary Cynthia Bridges said.

The agency made the transition in December from paper checks to prepaid debit cards, called MyRefund cards, to issue refunds.

There are a few exceptions to the cards.

Income tax filers with refunds topping $6,999 receive checks. Filers also can choose to have their refunds deposited into a bank account.

Comments

  1. I hate the debit card. I don’t bank at Chase and I wanted to deposit to my savings account at my own bank. They wouldn’t take it as is. I had to go to the hassle of confirming the card and setting up a pin number. Then I had to go to Chase and make a withdrawal from the card, then drive to my own bank and deposit it. Not everybody wants to run out and spend it right away! Give me my check back!

  2. “I realize more probably could have been done in the area of educating our citizens,” state Department of Revenue Secretary Cynthia Bridges said.****

    i’m not sure if this statement by d.o.r. sec. cynthia bridges is a slap in the face of all louisiaians or simply a testament to her personal intellectual snobbery….i, personally, dislike the tone of the statement… perhaps rather than denigrating the dumb, ignorant electorate, the administration could simply notify the body politique of the changes taking place in the dispensing of refunds due. we could do without the “lack of education” nuances….