MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s the time of year when many Minnesotans find some extra cash in their bank accounts.
The state typically sends out renter’s rebates and property tax refunds in September, but some renters and homeowners say they still haven’t received that money.READ MORE: Minneapolis Mayor Wrote Formal Reprimand To Police Chief Over Press Conference On Ballot Initiative
“Why not just come forth and say what’s causing the problem,” said Steve Stolarek, a Minneapolis homeowner.
Every September, Stolarek gets a few hundred bucks back as part of his property tax refund. This year, he’s still waiting.
“It’s my money,” he said. “It’s my rebate. It’s not something I’m asking the state for, it’s my money, you know.
He’s sent several emails to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, yet still feels they aren’t giving him a straight answer.
“When I email different people, I get different amounts of spin,” Stolarek said.
The Minnesota Department of Revenue said their priority is making sure the correct rebates go to the right people.
This year brought 140,000 more filings than ever before.
“We’ve done quite a bit, as far as outreach and education, making sure people who may qualify know about the program,” said Terri Steenblock, assistant commissioner of Individual Taxes with the Minnesota Department Revenue.
According the department, even though Stolarek turned in his paperwork early, it doesn’t mean he’s first in line for his rebate. His paperwork might have to be checked manually, and that process requires additional time.READ MORE: 'We’re Really Worried': Rent Assistance Orgs Face Influx Of Calls As State Program Abruptly Stops Applications
Revenue Department staff say they will manually go through an application if a discrepancy appears when the paperwork is run through a computer.
“We’re verifying information to make sure it’s correct,” said Libby Caulum, communication director for the Revenue Department. “It’s our priority to make sure the right amount goes to the right person. We know people rely on this money and we’re working as fast as we can to process.”
At times, the revenue department may ask for additional documents to verify the application. One way to expedite the process is to return any additional documents that the Revenue Department asks for in a timely matter.
There’s also confusion with one aspect of the Revenue Department’s website.
Filers can check on the refund by clicking the “Where’s My Refund” link. The link takes filers to a page that gives an estimated date of the refund and marks the application as processed.
However, Steenblock said that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the applications are still in the approval stage even when an application is marked as processed.
“We are revamping that application. Instead of providing estimated dates, what we’ll be doing is telling taxpayers where their return is in the status,” Steenblock said. “At this point those are estimated dates and that can change based on volume of returns.”
As of now, 97 percent of renters received their rebate and 89 percent of homeowners have their refunds.
The Revenue Department says they have reprioritized their work to get the refunds out quickly.
Rebates are based on salary. Renters who make less than $58,060 may be eligible. Homeowners with a combined income of less than $107,150 could get the refund as well.MORE NEWS: Southern Minnesota Man Gets Life In Prison For Child Pornography, Sexually Exploiting Teenage Girl
Anyone with questions regarding their refund should call the revenue department at 651-296-3781.