March 15, 2019 10:58:23 AM
The town of Crawford has reached an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service to pay off a more than $30,000 tax lien from improperly managing employee retirement fund matches.
Lowndes County Tax Assessor Greg Andrews had previously been ordered to divert all the town's vehicle tag collections toward paying down that lien. Andrews said Crawford appealed that decision, and that the IRS instructed him to divert $250 each month of vehicle tag collections to the IRS. The rest of the vehicle tag collections, and all the real and personal property collections, will go to the town of Crawford.
According to previous estimates Andrews provided The Dispatch, vehicle tag collections for Crawford average about $1,000 per month, so only about one-fourth of that will go toward paying off the lien.
Crawford officials -- including Mayor Willie Dean Parson and Town Clerk Beverly Hairston declined to comment, outside of confirming they reached a verbal agreement with the IRS but don't yet have anything in writing. Town Attorney Tim Hudson, who is also the county board of supervisors' attorney, said he knew an agreement had been reached but didn't know specifics.
"They said they'd reached an agreement and I said, 'OK, great, let me know if you need anything,'" he said.
An IRS audit at the end of last year revealed that between September 2007 and December 2010, the town had not paid into its city employee IRA and retirement funds. Hudson, previously told The Dispatch his "understanding" is that the town's match to employee retirement funds was "not recorded as being paid."
Under the current agreement with the IRS, it will take roughly eight years to pay off the lien Crawford owes, Andrews said.
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