Pender: Dept. of Revenue’s plan worked, so why drop it?

State Revenue Commissioner Ed Morgan has a heckuva deal for taxpayers: give him $1, and he’ll turn it into $8, $10, or maybe even $16.

Lawmakers last year took him up on his offer. They gave him the $3.5 million extra he requested to hire more workers, to collect more back taxes, catch more swindlers, cheats and deadbeats. Gov. Phil Bryant, who pushed for the increase, made Morgan write a letter promising the extra money and staff would result in about $10 million more in tax collections.

It resulted in $60 million more. Don’t take Morgan’s word for it — lawmakers had their watchdog agency, PEER, ride herd on it, and its audit showed a direct correlation between the $3.5 million more for staff and the $60 million in back taxes collected.

Clarion Ledger
5/11/13