Minor Regulatory Paperwork Snafu Cost Company Millions In Sales In Minnesota During Shut Down

Today Minnesota Speaker of the House Kurt Zoellers joined us on air on the Scott Hennen Show to talk about the Minnesota government shut down and the budget dealings that, at least right now, look to be near ending it. During our interview, Zellers talked a bit about the now-infamous story of beer giant MillerCoors being shut down for business in the state because they couldn’t get their license to distribute beer renewed during the shut down.

According to Zellers, the company had filed its renewal on time, but had actually made a slight over payment so the state sent their entire application back with not enough time to renew before the shut down (audio here):

According to Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers in an interview today with Scott Hennen, “The beer distributor called in to ask the permit price – $100, $200, whatever for the state of Minnesota. They send the money in, but the price they were quoted was wrong, and it’s an over-payment.”

So instead of issuing a refund, the state government sent not only the original check back, but all of the paperwork as well. They then told the distributor they had two days to send the state the exact money back in along with all of the paperwork. …

“That is the ridiculousness of where our state government is when it is a hand-to-paper business,” Zellers continued. “People just simply cannot figure out just send us the extra ten or twenty dollars that we are due back, and don’t send us the application and make us wait like this.”

So the company and everyone they serve/employ lost, cumulatively, millions because some bureaucrat couldn’t just issue a refund.

There’s something horribly wrong when a clerical mistake made by he state on a minor permit can cost the economy millions upon millions of dollars in commerce.

It means government is too big, too pervasive, for anyone’s good. Except maybe the people employed by it.


Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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