Missouri lawmakers, other states push to speed taxpayer refunds

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Lawmakers in Missouri and several other states are pushing back against efforts to delay tax refunds that supporters say are needed to help ailing state budgets.

Holding on to the money allows states to use it for other purposes, earn interest on it or simply wait until there's enough cash to cover the checks. But the cost can be an unhappy public.

Several states have delayed refunds this year and more did it last year.

Missouri delayed sending refunds last year to beef up its cash reserves. But a backlash from taxpayers has led Republican lawmakers to push legislation to stop it from happening again.

Officials in some states say budget troubles have left them no choice but to delay refunds.