BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio --
Documents filed by the IRS and obtained by NEWS9 show that Neffs Volunteer Fire Department owes over $800,000 in unpaid federal and state taxes.
A tax lien gives the IRS a legal claim to property as security or payment to debt. In other words, the IRS could re-claim Neffs' buildings or equipment. NEWS9 took the documents to the department to get an explanation, but no one answered. Bellaire residents, however, had a lot to say.
"They're trying to get away with more than they need to," said one resident. "They're making money, why can't they pay their taxes just like the rest of us have too," he said.
Dough Menough, a Bellaire resident, said "With all these arsonists going around here? They ought to be caught, and they ought to pay their taxes so we have a fire department around here."
The documents show unpaid taxes dating back to 2004. Between 2004 and 2007, Neffs failed to pay over $500,000. In 2009, the department failed to pay over $2,500.
Neffs has until 2019 to re-file, but the IRS can still impose legal action.
Residents told NEWS9 they want some answers, and have concerns about the Bellaire area not having a fire department.
"If they don't know how to manage money, then maybe they shouldn't be in the game," said one resident.
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