FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 2, 2022) – Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball announced today she stopped thousands of payments the Beshear Administration requested she make to incorrect recipients. This stoppage highlights the Kentucky State Treasurer’s essential function as a watchdog for taxpayer dollars. The action saved the Commonwealth over $150,000 and prevented thousands of Kentuckians from having their future tax refunds potentially held ransom by the Beshear Administration for the repayment of checks they should not have received.
“Throughout my nearly seven years as State Treasurer, I have never before been asked by anyone to knowingly make erroneous payments,” Treasurer Ball said. “Kentuckians should not have their tax returns held hostage to pay for the mistakes of the Beshear Administration, especially as check cancellation is a routine function of my office.”
The Treasurer is responsible for issuing checks on behalf of the Commonwealth and has been assisting local governments through the Department of Revenue with vehicle tax refunds this year due to HB 6, because many local offices do not have this capability. Upon notification that the Beshear Administration had inadvertently included incorrect recipients in a check printing request for vehicle tax refunds and that these checks had been issued and mailed, the Treasury notified the Finance Cabinet of the Treasurer’s intention to cancel the checks, and as a courtesy, to waive any check cancellation fees. The Beshear Administration instead told the Treasurer to knowingly make the erroneous payments to the incorrect recipients.
Finance and Administration Secretary Holly M. Johnson wrote in a letter to Treasurer Ball requesting the checks not be cancelled: “these can be recovered through either refund offsets or the issuance of tax bills,” making it clear the Beshear Administration would rather push aside its mistake and put the work to rectify it on the backs of hardworking Kentuckians. Secretary Johnson continued, “I strongly urge you to reconsider your stop payment of these overpayments.”
Treasurer Ball’s decision to proceed with cancelling the checks stopped 3,868 checks from being cashed, totaling $157,271.69.
Treasurer Ball is available for further comment upon request.