Just as we were talking about how the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles had improved tremendously – even transforming itself into a friendly, easy-to-use outlet – came the news last week that some drivers have been asked to return some of the dough they were refunded when being overcharged on excise taxes. Oops! A BMV spokesman said it was “human error” that led to a temporary $60,000 windfall among 254 registered driver’s license holders. The money will be returned or recaptured. We all make mistakes and it’s not the end of the world, but after years of improvements under the governorship of Mitch Daniels, glitches have surfaced, including this latest one. The BMV has said it overcharged approximately $29 million in excise taxes. And then there was a class-action lawsuit that claimed the BMV dinged drivers by $30 million to the minus side. Just less than five million Hoosier drivers were refunded $3.50 to $15 apiece in a settlement. We’re in that group, although the check has yet to arrive. It will. What’s most important is that the mess be cleaned up and in an expedient way. Maybe there needs to be a new set of tighter controls. Remember, that money doesn’t belong to state government; it belongs to all of us. True enough, it is distributed to municipalities across the state annually, but errors are errors and they should be contained, if not eliminated, at all costs as it is our dough. So, what’s the process, what’s the system? The leadership at the BMV and on up the ladder might want to ask that question.
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As much as we truly love the season, it has been humorous, really – even laughable – with respect to the unsolicited national retailer e-mails we have been getting. They almost all seem to tout “the deal of the holidays,” “it won’t get better than this,” “the lowest price of the year,” etc. And we know well enough that those e-mails will repeat several times … right up to Dec. 24. For now, we’ll just remain amused.