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State slow sending income tax refunds to taxpayers

MONTGOMERY — Alabama taxpayers expecting refunds may have to wait a little longer than usual before getting a check this year.

State Revenue Commissioner Tim Russell says the state is about 20 percent behind last year in the number of refunds returned to taxpayers. Alabama paid $88 million in refunds from Jan. 1 to Feb. 26, compared with the same period last year.

Russell says a reason for the delay is that the revenue department hired about 60 part-time clerks to help process tax returns last year. But Russell says no temporary clerks were hired this year because of budget cuts caused by the recession.

State Finance Director Jim Main told members of the Rotary Club of Montgomery Monday that when income tax money comes into the state it is first used for education expenses before used to pay refunds.