Tax lien hovers over top county official


SCHOHARIE — Schoharie County government's top official is facing a a federal tax lien of $34,444, according to a document filed at the county clerk's office.

The lien was filed in January 2014 against Earl Van Wormer III, the chairman of the county board of supervisors, and his spouse, Charmayne, The Daily Star confirmed.

The lien, placed on the couple by the Internal Revenue Service, involved assessments for four consecutive tax years: 2009 through 2012.

Van Wormer, the Esperance town supervisor, operates a pest extermination and home structural inspection business as a sideline. When asked about the lien by The Daily Star, he said it involves an ongoing disagreement with the IRS regarding his income.

"It's just a dispute between me and the IRS on what they claim I owe and what I owe," he said. "We'll work it out."

Van Wormer was re-elected by his fellow supervisors Monday night in the county government's annual reorganization meeting. He narrowly survived first-round polling in which supervisors backing newly minted Schoharie Town Supervisor Chris Tague came just shy of installing the latter man as the county chairman.

Van Wormer sealed his victory with the aid of Cobleskill Town Supervisor Leo McAllister, a Republican who, in sticking with the incumbent, resisted political pressure to back Tague, the vice chairman of the Schoharie County GOP and an executive at Cobleskill Stone Products.

McAllister wields 481 weighted votes, more than double the number carried by 12 of the supervisors, and more than 14 times the number carried by Blenheim Supervisor Sean Smith, who only has 33.

In the initial ballot, Van Wormer pulled 1,297 weighted votes, with the remainder divided between Tague (1,169 votes) and Fulton Supervisor Phil Skowfoe (508 votes). On the next ballot, Van Wormer cruised to an overwhelming victory.

Said Gilboa Town Supervisor Tony Van Glad, who was installed as the county board's new vice chairman, "I think Earl has the experience we need to lead the county board."

The new Middleburgh town supervisor, Peter Coppola, said he is convinced the county board needs fresh leadership. "The people I represent told me they want change because the same stuff goes on all the time," said Coppola in explaining his support for Tague.

Tague, who threw his support to Van Wormer in the second round, said he was encouraged to seek the leadership by people yearning to see increased focus on job creation.

"This county needs a rebranding," Tague said. "This little Schoharie Valley is the best kept secret in New York state. Mr. Van Wormer is a good guy. But he has been here for 20-something years. The people said they want new leadership and that's why I stepped up to the plate."

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