by Max Brantley
An announcement was made this afternoon by the Gould mayor, the Gould Tax Relief Fund and the Gould Citizens Advisory Council about the IRS claim that the city owes more than $250,000 in back taxes and penalties.
The news is good. There's a tentative agreement (see jump) with the IRS in which it will suspend efforts to collect back taxes and eventually forgive them if the city continues to pay its current obligations in full and on time.
The Tax Fund raised $10,000 to save the city from foreclosure and the advisory council has likewise been working to solve problems facing the city. For their trouble, a rump group on the city council attempted to make citizen groups illegal, along with meetings between the mayor and such groups. That made Gould into a national news story and a client for the ACLU. Also, two men were arrested for attacking Mayor Earnest Nash. Ultimately, the council repealed the unconstitutinal ordinances.
What we have working here today are the power of community organizing, the majesty of the Constitution and law and the usefulness of negotiation.
Two community groups working to improve the city of Gould applaud Mayor Earnest Nash’s announcement today that the Internal Revenue Service has made a conditional offer to cease collection of over $250,000 in back taxes owed by the City of Gould.
Sam King, chairman of the Gould Tax Relief Fund was excited about the news: “The gracious actions of the IRS will allow Gould some breathing room so that the city can start spending money on needed services and infrastructure to restore our community’s viability and put us on track for sustainable economic growth for the coming years,” said King.
The Tax Relief Fund led residents in saving the city from foreclosure in June by raising money to make a $10,000 payment to the IRS. Residents were so committed that they raised an additional $4,000, which they plan to apply to the city’s outstanding debts.
“This city has been working for the past few years to restore a positive relationship with the IRS,” said Gould Mayor Ernest Nash. “The residents of Gould refused to give up on our community, and I am pleased to hear that the IRS has recognized our commitments to settling our debts in good faith.”
While the IRS will no longer be seeking payments on the back taxes owed, interest and penalties will continue to accrue. If timely payments on current and future taxes are not made, Gould will once again be responsible for the back taxes that the city owes. If Gould stays on track with its payments, all of the debt will be forgiven completely.
“We have been given a second chance, and now we have to work together to keep our house in order,” said GCAC Chair Curtis Mangrum. “Gould is in a better position now because residents stood together to protect the city’s future.”