Dear Citizens of Lordsburg,
As you are all aware Fire Chief and volunteer firefighters all abruptly resigned last night. This was due to a change in reporting taxes to the IRS on the stipends they earn. Upon receiving the resignation of the fire chief, Mayor Barrera immediately contacted the Hidalgo County Manager, Tisha Green, Fire Marshall/EMS, David Whipple and Fire Chief, Tommy Chavez. The County and City now have a temporary Mutual Aid Agreement to provide emergency services to the City.
The change is the City required of the fire volunteers to fill out a W-4. The City recently was made aware the stipends being paid to the fire chief to pay to his volunteers must be taxed according to IRS regulations. The City has been in contact with the State of New Mexico Department of Finance, Internal Revenue Service, and our Independent contracted Auditor. They have all provided us the proper and legal procedures the City must follow. Last month the City provided the fire chief the W-4’s to give the volunteers. This month the fire chief submitted the paperwork to be reimbursed in the same manner as before, without proper and obligated IRS regulations. The city asked for the W-4’s to begin the new process required by the IRS. This process would take a couple of days and our Fire Chief and Volunteers would receive their stipends by the end of this week. However, no W-4’s were submitted and caused a delay of payment. This confusion led to the resignation of our Volunteers. The City will and continue to follow legal procedures and will not violate any state or federal tax laws.
The City of Lordsburg is now accepting letter of interest for Fire Chief. Please submit to the City Hall by September 25, 2020 if interested.
Thank you and stay safe!