Sense of Deception



States may hold onto tax refunds for months

By William M. Welch~USA Today

Residents eager to get their state tax refunds may have a long wait this year: The recession has tied up cash and caused officials in half a dozen states to consider freezing refunds, in one case for as long as five months.

States from New York to Hawaii that have been hard-hit by the economic downturn say they have either delayed refunds or are considering doing so because of budget shortfalls.

“It’s an indicator of how bad it is,” says Scott Pattison, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers. “You know things are bad when you have to do that.”

New York, hit with a $9 billion deficit, may delay $500 million in refunds to keep the state from running out of cash, says Gov. David Paterson.

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