Friday, February 3, 2012

State Treasurer Martha Shoffner Joins Ranks of Arkansas Democrats in Gross Mismanagement of State Government

Treasurer’s Failure To Do Job Leaves $1.1 Million Missing From County Revenue

Little Rock, Ark. – On the heels of Arkansas Democrats’ gross mismanagement of the Forestry Commission budget shortfall, Democratic State Treasurer Martha Shoffner recently cost more than a dozen Arkansas counties over $1 million in expected revenue for failing to simply do her job.

According to a memo issued by the Arkansas Association of Counties (AAC), “fifteen counties receiving over $100,000 has been denied by the US Forest Service,” because Treasurer Martha Shoffner “was not made aware” that it was her responsibility to mail the appropriate forms to counties eligible for Secure Rural Schools Title 2 & 3 funding. The AAC estimated the total loss of revenue to the counties as $1.1 million.

“Over 1 million dollars in revenue for our counties is now missing because Democratic State Treasurer Martha Shoffner failed to do her job,” said Republican Party of Arkansas Communications Director Katherine Vasilos. “This is yet another example of how Arkansas Democrat’s mismanagement of state government is hurting our citizens.”

Last July, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a letter to Treasurer Shoffner carefully outlining her role in seeing that the “FY 2011 Payments to the State Election Form” was distributed to eligible counties and returned to the U.S. Forest Service by a September 30, 2011 deadline.

“While we hope this decision by the U.S. Forest Service to deny funding is reversed, today, we ask that Treasurer Shoffner come clean with the people of Arkansas and reveal the true costs of her gross mismanagement to our state,” concluded Vasilos.

$1.1 Million in County Revenue Lost Due To Treasurer Shoffner’s Mismanagement
“As most of you are likely aware, the Secure Rural Schools Title 2 &  3 funding for fourteen (see list below) of the fifteen counties receiving over $100,000 has been denied by the US Forest Service.  The stated reason for the denial is those counties did not get their Election forms back to the Forest Service by the September 30, 2011 deadline.  This has resulted in the loss of $1.1 million in revenues to these counties.  From what we can tell the mailing out of these forms had, historically, been handled by the Arkansas Department of Education. Beginning in 2011 that responsibility was shifted to the State Treasurer, however, it appears the Treasurer was not made aware of this new responsibility by the Dept. of Education.” (Jeff Sikes, Association of Arkansas Counties, Electronic Memo, 1/23/12)

USDA Informed Treasurer’s Office in July of Funding Deadline
“In order to prepare the 2011 payments to the states under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act, as amended and reauthorized by P.L. 110-343 (the Act), we request that each participating state complete and submit the “FY 2011 Payments to the States Election Form” by September 30, 2011…” (Jennifer McGuire, Letter to State Treasurer Martha Shoffner, United States Department of Agriculture, 7/20/11)

Tags: Democratic, State Treasurer, Martha Shoffner, funds for schools, Forestry Commission, United States Department of Agriculture, USDA,

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