IRS Nicks OPPJ for $7K in Back Taxes

The Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ) last night approved a settlement agreement for about $7.4 thousand with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding a dispute over employee classification. The issue concerns Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO) deputies that work for the jury on occasion for court house security, code enforcement, weekend community service and other duties.

The jury considered these workers as contractors and issued them 1099’s which requires the individual to report the income and pay taxes on it. The IRS ruled that since the deputies were under the direction of the jury, they should be considered employees and should be issued W-2’s and have taxes withheld.

One possible solution mentioned last night was to hire an independent security firm rather than use OPSO deputies.

The IRS settlement did not assess any interest or penalties.

Official Journal Selection

Earlier in the meeting, the jury selected the official journal for the upcoming year. In accordance with RS 43:141, that must be done every year. We see no need in public bodies using the antiquated practice of ink-on-paper information distribution anymore, considering the speed and reach of the internet. Merely publishing the information on the public body’s website would ensure a much broader and more accurate result.

But we understand the practical purpose – the “official journal” gets money from the public body and the public body often gets sympathetic news stories. Everybody except the taxpayer is served.

Three bids were taken even though the lowest bidder does not have to be selected – The Ouachita Citizen, Monroe Free Press and Monroe Dispatch.

District F’s Pat Moore made a motion to select the Monroe Free Press, but it died for lack of a second.

The Ouachita Citizen was selected and the Monroe Free Press was picked as auxiliary official journal.

Other Business

A new contract was approved with LSU Health Sciences Center/E. A. Conway Medical Center to service patients at Green Oaks Detention Center and the Ouachita Correctional Center. The new agreement is an increase of about $25 thousand/year which represents about a 25% increase. The old contract amount hadn’t been increased in about ten years. The new agreement is for five years.

Also discussed and approved was a resolution presented by District C’s Walt Caldwell regarding the offshore drilling moratorium imposed by the Obama administration. See page four of the agenda for the full text.

District D’s Ollibeth Reddix made a rather disjointed argument against the resolution. By her logic, mankind would have scarcely progressed beyond the oxcart and certainly would not be flying about the planet. After all, God did not give us wings.

The resolution passed with Reddix abstaining.

V-Vehicle Tax Refund

As we had predicted, there was no action taken to initiate V-Vehicle tax refunds promised back in April. Apparently, the jury can pick and choose which laws to obey and when to do so. Or not.

3 Responses to “IRS Nicks OPPJ for $7K in Back Taxes”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Sugger Shane Smilley does not want to be a politition any more. No V-Vehicle and no retrurn of the tax payers money.

  2. scott rogers Says:

    Next time you want to accuse me of writing sympathetic news stories, say it to my face.

  3. LPPJ, HELP Get Clean Audits « Lincoln Parish News Online Says:

    […] that President Obama reduce the six-month Gulf drilling moratorium to thirty days. It was the same resolution debated and passed by the Ouachita Parish Police Jury (OPPJ) Monday night. And the discussion at […]

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