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Fri May 5, 2017, 03:28 AM

State tax collection positions were funded, but not filled

SALEM — Less than a week after Gov. Kate Brown called for renewed efforts to collect millions of dollars in debt owed to the state, legislators are asking the Department of Revenue to explain why vacancies remain at the agency after the Legislature already allocated money to step up its collections staff.

The agency still has about 100 open positions, including 31 in collections, according to lawmakers on a budget subcommittee, even though the Legislature appropriated an estimated $10 million to the department to fill those 100 positions in the current two-year budget period that ends in June.

The Legislative Fiscal Office estimates there is about $3.3 billion owed to the state overall. There is a limited amount that is collectible for a multitude of reasons, and only about $600 million to $800 million of that money is owed to the state’s general fund — where there is an approximately $1.6 billion budget gap lawmakers have to close before they adjourn in July.

Shawn Waite, director of the revenue department’s administrative services division, told lawmakers Tuesday during budget hearings for the department that some money was spent on personal services and backfilling positions, but that about $4.5 million will be left over.

Read more: http://www.dailyastorian.com/da/capital-bureau/20170502/state-tax-collection-positions-were-funded-but-not-filled

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