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Local News

IRS, Barry County disagree: employee or independent contractor?

In an issue that is sure to take time to resolve, the Internal Revenue Service has given Barry County its opinion that Airport Manager Mark Noteboom is a county employee, not an independent contractor. County Administrator Michael Brown, Noteboom and the Hastings City/Barry County Airport Commission disagree.

 

“We believe he is an independent contractor,” Brown said. “We continue to look into it.” County Attorney David Stoker is gathering information, “but this is just in the beginning stages,” Brown added.

 

That brings up a much wider question: Would everyone who works by contract with the county or city be considered an employee by the IRS?

 

Noteboom has negotiated contracts with the county, which were also approved by the city, since he was hired in 2009. Depending on the results of the contention of the IRS, the county could be liable for some costs, and likely penalties, but that’s still an unknown, Brown said. “FICA is 7.65 percent, we would have to pay that; that’s just one area…ultimately, the airport board may consider changes to clarify things.”

 

Hastings City Manager Jeff Mansfield said the city is still reviewing the IRS opinion and seeking advice from specialists in legal and accounting firms.  Hastings Mayor Dave Tossava is the city representative on the airport commission. He said the commission is unsure which direction the board will go.

 

Talking to county commissioners on August 1, 2014, Noteboom said he as an independent contractor, he pays his own taxes, insurance and mileage; he said he is not an employee of either the city or county, and manages the airport by contact with the airport commission.

“I do everything from A to Z, maintain everything, mow the grass, plow snow, pay my assistant and the help and handle any and all complaints…” Noteboom said then.

 

He did not return a call asking for a comment.

 

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