Tax refunds

A front-page story by Gavin Maliska in the April 12 issue of the Commonwealth (“Debtors’ tax returns may be seized”) says that a new law “authorizes county and city governments to grab a debtor’s state tax return before the check is cut by the state Department of Revenue to satisfy debts that have proved to be uncollectable.”

An editor’s note in “My Two Cents” on April 25 causes readers to believe Mr. Maliska must be in error. The editor’s note says that only the federal government provides a refund to low-income filers.

So who is correct? The editor or the managing editor?

Editor’s note: That’s not exactly what the earlier editor’s note said, so we’ll try to explain this better.

Both the state and federal governments issue refunds to people who pay more in taxes than they owe.

Only the federal government, however, does more than that for working people with low to moderate income. It also awards the Earned Income Tax Credit, a form of welfare.

A refund from the state can never be more than what the filer paid in state taxes. However, because of the EITC, the working poor can receive a refund from the federal government that actually exceeds the amount they paid in taxes.

On April 24, we thought it necessary to explain the difference between state and federal refunds because the commenter in “My Two Cents” that day suggested that state tax refunds are “gift checks” for the poor. In fact, Mississippi provides no such gift.

MLK Drive

Regarding the article “Bumpy ride on MLK” (April 19):

The ride has been bad since the first day the last job was done.

If you want it done correctly, then specifications are needed with inspections on the job and before payment and a warranty.

Third-grade gate

Regarding the editorial “Third-grade gate about to slam” (April 25):

Thanks, Commonwealth, for shining a light on this matter. Our kids can’t be any better than the quality of their education.

This is a cause that everyone in authority should get behind — lawmakers, parents, clergy and, yes, our local paper as well.

This is the best investment we could ever make for Mississippi.

Larry W. Jones

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