Budget, taxes, Stassen, and my refund


With debate in the media about budgets, shutdown, and taxes, I realized my tax refund from Minnesota had not been placed in the mailbox yet. With the looming shutdown would I get it before July 1st?

I decided to find out. What could I find online with the Department of Revenue.  Looked, reviewed, not interested to do business online. It’s the privacy thing I have.  An alternative way is the phone.  I called, got the recording for a process, followed through, then they asked me for my specific refund amount to confirm to the robotic computerized voice that it was the real me.  One thing though I forgot the specific amount, took the gambling guess, no jackpot.  Could not find out the status of my refund.

So what is another alternative.  For me it was to go in person after my jaunt around the Capitol.  Went out the east door of the Capitol, across the street down the stairs behind the Judicial Center, could not get out after going down the stairs, the gate was locked.  Preparing for the shutdown already, huh!  So I climbed over the gate.

Then could not get through directly because of the Light Rail mess which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars for something or nothing.

But there I saw it, the Harold Stassen Building, the home of the Revenue Department.  This is where I can find out the status of my Minnesota tax refund.

With all the budget cuts and lay offs of state workers over the past bienniums I wondered if I would be able to find out about my refund in person.  There has been an emphasis with state government to do more with less, therefore, more on line business doings for services and interaction with people, less personal contact.

I walk in, huge, the lobby is, the desk to the right. I ask, Can I find out about the status of my tax refund?  I expected an answer that I have heard recently in other situations, “You have to go online to find out.”  But low and behold, she states, need to see id, showed it, then directed me to key pad to put in my #SSN, I did, no privacy issue here. A few minutes later, I was told it has not been processed yet.  I then asked her if there is a courtesy phone I could use so I could to talk  someone about it.  She said no, but she called the appropriate person.  Told a few minutes later, there will be a person to follow up on it.  Will get the check within the week.

Government is made of people which provides services to us, and that the people that work for government are us.  Part of my refund is going to the Chickadee fund which I do every year which funds a service.  It takes money to fund the services of the state of Minnesota.  We all understand that.

What we do not understand is why our services which we enjoy and need may be not available to us on July 1, 2011?  By the way, I wonder what Harold E. Stassen would think about the current going’s on at the State Capitol?