IRS files nearly $800,000 lien against Warner Robins

Mayor Randy Toms said Wednesday he recently found out about it and is launching a full investigation into how it happened.
City Hall

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The Internal Revenue Service has filed a nearly $800,000 lien against the City of Warner Robins.

Mayor Randy Toms said Wednesday he recently found out about it and is launching a full investigation into how it happened.

He says it’s not an issue of back taxes but an issue of mistakes in reporting and notices of mistakes being ignored.

Toms says he was shocked and disappointed when he heard of the IRS claims.

The tax codes included in the IRS lien against Warner Robins.

The lien lists tax codes 6721, 6722, and 941. Those codes mean the city failed to file correct information on returns, failed to furnish correct payee statements and failed to fulfill an employer’s quarterly tax return.

Mayor Toms says during his eight years in office, he has strived to run the city with fiscal responsibility and transparency.

“There are obviously those who would love nothing more than to make this an issue which derails my continued service to this city, but don’t be confused,” he said. “Let me be clear, the office of the mayor does not keep the books for the city of Warner Robins.”

Former Councilman Tim Thomas says auditors informed the Mayor and Council of the filing issues during a closed door meeting in 2018.

Less than a year before Thomas left office in 2019, the city hired a company to fix the issues. He says it’s alarming it got to this point.

“I was kicking and screaming in 2018 and 2019 saying this issue was going to come, and we’re going to have some financial issues,” he said .”I noticed they’ve raised our utility rates. We’re going to be having more rates on our taxes, and it’s to cover these kinds of issues which we should not have.”

Post 6 Councilman Larry Curtis says he had no knowledge of the tax filing issues before this week.

He says he’s upset he wasn’t informed about it sooner. Councilman Curtis says the lien will hurt the city even after the debt is paid off.

“It’s going to hurt our credit rating,” he said .”Because it’s going to continue to be on our credit after we pay that bill. We’re probably going to have higher interest rates when we go out to do bonds or take loans.”

Mayor Toms says he oversees a large team to make sure Warner Robins runs well. He says he’ll work to resolve this issue and any other issues the city faces.

“Anyone not interested in helping run Warner Robins ethically and effectively will not be welcome to stay,” he said.

Former Councilman Thomas responded by saying the mayor is misleading the public by saying he recently found out about these issues.

“He knew it was going on when I was on council and didn’t even tell us,” Thomas said. “The auditors had to come in and tell us. That was an issue for me, because we handle finances, and we cannot handle finances if we don’t know exactly what’s going on.”

Toms declined to answer questions, citing the ongoing investigation. He says there should be answers soon on what happened.

LaRhonda Patrick, who is running against Mayor Toms in the upcoming runoff, released a statement on her Facebook page. It said in part:

“I believe the taxpayers are owed a fair and honest explanation of our current lien, and a plan of action on how administration will resolve this issue. In addition the council, who also directly represents their constituency, must be informed so they may serve to their best ability.”

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