County ambulance district owes IRS several thousands of dollars - KOAM TV 7

County ambulance district owes IRS several thousands of dollars


There seems to be more questions than answers as to why a county ambulance service owes the IRS several thousands of dollars in missed tax payments.  The ambulance district doesn't seem to dispute the IRS claims.

The Vernon County Ambulance District has an emergency.

"It's pretty frustrating for the county," says Vernon County worker and area resident Erica Drake.

People like Drake want to know where their tax dollars have been going, since a notice of federal tax lien from the IRS shows the ambulance district hasn't paid taxes from December of 2013 to March of last year.  The federal government could seize the ambulance district's assets.

Ambulance district workers won't go into specifics of what caused the missed payments, other than saying an electrical surge in 2014 caused a year's worth of financial records to be lost.  The ambulance district's payroll clerk had not informed administration, "in a timely manner," that there was a problem.

Too bad, says Drake, who adds that's no excuse.

"In my own personal opinion, I just kind of feel like it's kind of in the hideaway, lets deal with this secretly kind of.  That may or may not be the case, but that's kind of how I feel about it," says Drake.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is now investigating the financials, and ambulance district workers won't issue any type of comment because of the ongoing audit.

Some county residents say adding insult to injury, though, is the ambulance district saying more money than what's listed on the tax lien could be owed because the ambulance district also didn't pay taxes in the second and third quarters of last year.  The federal government could end up demanding $327,000.  

The ambulance district has gotten a $150,000 line of credit from a bank to help pay for current things like payroll.  There's no word on if a concrete plan is in place to help pay back the IRS.  

The ambulance district is a separate taxing entity from the rest of the county.  But county commissioners, who are knowledgeable with this case, could not be reached for comment.


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