By Associated Press - Thursday, July 10, 2014

ITTA BENA, Miss. (AP) - The town of Itta Bena is looking for help as it faces a federal tax lien of $200,000 and a mountain of unpaid bills.

The Greenwood Commonwealth reports (https://bit.ly/VOOCt5 ) the board of aldermen put town clerk LaCheronda Spivey on probation for a year and asked ex-clerk Mary O’Banner to voluntarily help with the books.

Between January 2012 and March 2013, the Internal Revenue Service said the town failed to pay Medicare, Social Security and income tax withholding due the government from municipal employees’ paychecks.

Before the tax lien, the town was already facing debts including almost $500,000 to the Municipal Energy Association of Mississippi, more than $7,000 to the Leflore County Solid Waste Department and $15,568 to Mississippi Public Employees’ Retirement System.

Mayor Thelma Collins said Tuesday the city must meet its obligations.



“We cannot take anything out of the light bill. MEAM has to be paid. MEAM is going to be paid before anything else,” she said.

Collins told the board that a bill for $32,000, which covers bonding for city officials, is also now due.

Collins said she won’t receive a salary this year or next. The aldermen each receive a salary of $4,500 per year.

“We just can’t keep going on and on and on like this,” Collins said.

A budget work session is planned for Monday.

Itta Bena is a town of about 2,000 people in the Mississippi Delta.

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Information from: The Greenwood Commonwealth, https://www.gwcommonwealth.com

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