The Oregon Legislature is ordering a top-to-bottom review of the state’s troubled tax collecting agency even as it prepares to hand the agency expanded powers to go after bad debts owed to the state.
Lawmakers on the Joint General Government Subcommittee ordered the Department of Revenue to undergo a $150,000 comprehensive financial audit and a $350,000 management assessment.
The action comes on the heels of an unprecedented two weeks of grilling the Department of Revenue on its budget and issues raised when lawmaker e-mail boxes were “inundated” by insider complaints about how the agency functions.
Over the next two years, the agency must make frequent, mandatory reports to lawmakers during the interim and regular sessions of the Legislature.
The orders for agency examination and reporting are so heavy that chief Department of Revenue critic Rep. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, wondered if the agency would still have time to do its job collecting about $8 billion a year in taxes.