ST. PAUL, MN—Rep. Jim Nash, R-Waconia, issued the following statement regarding the audit released today by the non-partisan Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA).
“Today’s OLA report is just another item on the list of what’s gone wrong with MNLARS, and it’s Minnesota families and small businesses paying the price. Overcharging for vehicle taxes and fees takes valuable dollars out of family budgets, all because the state can’t get this system to function correctly. Moreover, it’s disheartening to see that the problems haven’t been fixed, leaving our Deputy Registrars looking for ways to save their small business. In all, I’m disappointed in the findings, and will continue to be an advocate for Minnesotans who simply want MNLARS to work.”
According to the report, MNLARS has been overcharging and undercharging Minnesotans on vehicle taxes and fees. Base values, a key data point in calculating these taxes, varied widely and in some cases there were more than 100 base values for a single car type that should have had just one. The system lacked safeguards to protect the integrity of the data, including allowing users to input fewer than 17 digits for VIN numbers. In total, "MNLARS was unable to automatically retrieve the correct base value for 217 of the 310 transactions" tested by the OLA.
In one example, a 2018 Ford F-150 had 130 base values ranging from $2 to $70,000, which would have resulted in widely different calculations.
Members of the House and Senate MNLARS Steering Committee will meet tomorrow at 9:30AM in Room 200 of the State Office Building to review the audit's findings.