Interest-Rate Parity

Whenever there is a tax dispute between the Comptroller’s office and an individual or a business, it can go one of two ways: either the taxpayer (or business) has to pay more money to the state, or the state loses the case and has to issue a refund to the taxpayer (or business). When the finding is that taxpayer or business owes the state money, then interest is applied to the principal by the state. What about the other way around? For years, the state, if found it had erred in charging a taxpayer or business too much money, would not have to pay any interest on top of the principal it returned to the individual or company. Today, the state pays a lower interest rate on money it returns for over-charging an individual or company than what we pay in interest when we are found to have to pay more to the state. That inequity has to change. The interest rate charged by the state in past-due collections should be the same as the interest rate paid by the state in past-due refunds. Harvey Hilderbran will fight to fix this unequal treatment of interest charged and paid by the State of Texas. It may take legislative action to get this accomplished, but as your Comptroller, he’ll work to get the Legislature to change the law.