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Story Archives: Former Vidalia city manager says he's responsible for failure to pay IRS
|Former Vidalia city manager says he's responsible for failure to pay IRS|
Former Vidalia City Manager Ken Walker said today that he takes "full responsibility" for the town's recent trouble with the Internal Revenue Service over a past due payroll tax bill of $635,412.76.
Walker, who resigned as city manager last month, blamed the failure to timely pay the IRS on "a series of errors."
A lien filed by the IRS against the town on Sept. 18 indicated the town owed payroll taxes dating back to 2006. Mayor Hyram Copeland said the town paid the bill and has received a letter from the IRS reporting that the lien had been removed.
The mayor said he was unaware that the taxes had not been paid until the lien was filed.
"We missed some payments, and apparently Ken just didn't pay them," Copeland said. "Once we found out, we immediately corrected it and paid the bill."
The mayor said he personally handed a cashier's check to IRS Revenue Officer Sonya V. Broussard from Lafayette on Friday. Two certificates of deposit (CD) totaling approximately $1 million was cashed in to pay the IRS, Copeland said.
"This is an embarrassment and should have never happened," Copeland said.
Walker said he had been trying to work through the tax matter with the IRS prior to his departure.
"We were trying to identify the cause and make sure it didn't happen again," he said. "This occurred over a great period of time and we thought we had paid some" of the taxes due.
"This happened under my watch," Walker said, "and I do feel I should have caught this quicker. I take full responsibility."
He said that Copeland is "the biggest asset that Vidalia has and he's a totally honest individual and totally forthright."
Walker declined to offer specifics into why the payments weren't timely made.
Copeland said about half of the total bill due the IRS included penalties and interest.
"The IRS is looking at rebating some of the interest and penalties in lieu of our present financial situation and due to the fact that we paid the bill immediately once we learned of the problem," Copeland said.
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