POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

IRS employees in Ogden worry about potential government shutdown

Sep 29, 2023, 3:00 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2024, 1:07 pm

irs and other government employees and their families hold protest signs about the government shutd...

Workers furloughed by the federal government shutdown and their families attend a rally at the James V. Hansen Federal Building in Ogden on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. The rally was organized by workers at the Ogden Internal Revenue Service center. (Steve Griffin/Deseret News)

(Steve Griffin/Deseret News)

OGDEN, Utah — As the possibility of a government shutdown seems more and more likely, government employees are expressing concern. Internal Revenue Service employees in Ogden say the last shutdown was enough of a hardship.

The IRS is one of the largest employers in Weber County. 

Local Chapter President of the National Treasury Employees Union Robert Lawrence said IRS employees don’t make a large salary and are nervous about going an extended period of time with no income.

“They are very anxious right now,” Lawrence said. “[There’s] a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear.”

Lawrence said the last shutdown in 2019 lasted 35 days. That’s a long time to go without a paycheck.

Since then, the government has consolidated its IRS locations. Lawrence said they’ve grown by thousands of employees since the last shutdown. 

Lawrence said many of the employees are recent hires who are earning a low hourly rate. He’s worried they won’t be able to weather an extended shutdown.

“We’re just frontline employees. We don’t make a lot of money,” Lawrence said. “Putting money away and having a really healthy savings is really not in the cards for a lot of us.”

But, Lawrence said he’s hopeful that people will be understanding and patient.

“[Employees] can talk to their creditors and explain the situation. I know that in the 2019 shutdown, people were very reasonable,” he said.

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IRS employees in Ogden worry about potential government shutdown