Lawmaker calls for independent audit of BMV after refund errors

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 25, 2014) - An Indiana lawmaker is calling for an independent audit of the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles after another refund error affecting thousands of BMV customers.

Earlier this year, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles revealed that some vehicles were misclassified and some Hoosiers overpaid on excise taxes when registering.

The BMV estimated that 185,000 Hoosiers were due about $29 million in refunds – but this week the BMV admitted that some people were refunded too much money- a total of about $60,000 that was mistakenly sent to more than 250 people.

The attorney on the class action suit against the BMV tells FOX59 it's just the latest in a long line of issues.

“When you have a history of making mistakes, you double check,” said attorney Irving Levin. “There is absolutely no excuse for the BMV to make recurring mistakes when it comes to the people’s money.”

The issue has state Rep. Dan Forestal, D-Indianapolis, calling for an independent audit. Forestal, the ranking minority member on the House Roads and Transportation committee, issued a statement Tuesday, calling the situation an embarrassment:

"It might be humorous if it weren't so embarrassing for them. What's worse is that these same officials seem more intent on explaining their behavior away as silly little errors and denying the public a full and clear picture of what is truly happening at the BMV.”

“And while it is true that we cannot audit incompetence, we certainly can audit the BMV’s books to determine the depth of their failures to competently handle our tax dollars, since they seem unable to do their work at a level that would pass muster in a high school accounting class…”

BMV officials declined our request for an interview Tuesday, but told FOX59 the mistake was a “human error” and that the mistake was caught early before it became a bigger problem. Affected customers have already received notice of the overpayment, and BMV officials said some customers have already returned the money.

“I don’t think you should give somebody some money and then say hey we need that back, it’s a mistake,” said BMV customer Chuck Watkins. “They should probably check their system out and be more careful.”

The BMV refunds also have a ripple effect on Indiana's counties, which will now receive less revenue from the tax than initially expected.

Here's a breakdown of the effect on all of Indiana's counties:

ADAMS $                 43,341.26
ALLEN $               861,003.77
BARTHOLOMEW $               232,222.08
BENTON $                 24,167.43
BLACKFORD $                 28,804.64
BOONE $               235,868.74
BROWN $                 41,563.35
CARROLL $                 61,086.75
CASS $                 89,771.81
CLARK $               253,344.65
CLAY $                 71,185.25
CLINTON $                 76,836.68
CRAWFORD $                 16,164.80
DAVIESS $                 90,001.78
DEARBORN $               141,400.66
DECATUR $                 55,589.67
DEKALB $                 88,750.54
DELAWARE $               269,706.50
DUBOIS $               161,710.39
ELKHART $               375,922.57
FAYETTE $                 44,329.19
FLOYD $               193,838.60
FOUNTAIN $                 46,955.45
FRANKLIN $                 50,336.24
FULTON $                 59,411.40
GIBSON $               144,724.73
GRANT $               148,289.49
GREENE $                 70,421.45
HAMILTON $           1,468,213.35
HANCOCK $               297,154.64
HARRISON $                 97,261.45
HENDRICKS $               605,551.38
HENRY $               134,652.53
HOWARD $               370,905.17
HUNTINGTON $                 93,611.76
JACKSON $                 89,829.12
JASPER $                 97,481.46
JAY $                 44,080.67
JEFFERSON $                 63,071.46
JENNINGS $                 43,257.12
JOHNSON $               495,441.57
KNOX $               116,884.48
KOSCIUSKO $               175,685.53
LAGRANGE $                 47,725.97
LAKE $           1,541,267.57
LAPORTE $               277,731.03
LAWRENCE $               122,142.28
MADISON $               392,432.02
MARION $           3,255,246.52
MARSHALL $               102,403.36
MARTIN $                 24,806.48
MIAMI $                 73,395.32
MONROE $               304,290.01
MONTGOMERY $                 98,112.23
MORGAN $               188,752.96
NEWTON $                 45,544.75
NOBLE $                 97,646.76
OHIO $                 12,359.02
ORANGE $                 40,577.42
OWEN $                 39,169.56
PARKE $                 46,034.10
PERRY $                 48,566.44
PIKE $                 35,982.74
PORTER $               645,852.03
POSEY $               111,160.40
PULASKI $                 35,264.14
PUTNAM $                 96,160.12
RANDOLPH $                 51,313.39
RIPLEY $                 63,260.63
RUSH $                 40,641.24
SAINT JOSEPH $               623,404.25
SCOTT $                 43,694.40
SHELBY $               105,056.64
SPENCER $                 62,126.60
STARKE $                 55,231.96
STEUBEN $                 70,212.42
SULLIVAN $                 74,101.07
SWITZERLAND $                 17,045.41
TIPPECANOE $               530,391.16
TIPTON $                 63,051.84
UNION $                 17,115.00
VANDERBURGH $               504,928.07
VERMILLION $                 51,308.37
VIGO $               258,153.53
WABASH $                 68,062.46
WARREN $                 29,635.52
WARRICK $               247,251.15
WASHINGTON $                 58,080.72
WAYNE $               130,008.31
WELLS $                 70,553.06
WHITE $                 67,667.75
WHITLEY $                 78,771.74