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Government shutdown affects St. Joseph

From taxes to home loans, St. Joseph is seeing the effects of the government shutdown.

Posted: Dec 27, 2018 9:58 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2019 10:29 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) The effects of the government shutdown are starting to be felt in St. Joseph. With many government offices closed, Those needing assistance from the IRS or buying a home could be affected.

A local tax accountant shares her experience, 

"If you want to call the IRS for some help right now, you're just out of luck." Jackie Watts, accountant said. 

Watts said she spent a year working on an amended return, and the shutdown is holding her client's refund money up in the air.

"Here we are in almost the end of December," Watts said. "They're still gonna have to wait." 

The IRS offices on the third floor of the UMB Bank building along the Belt Hwy sat empty Thursday, despite signs saying the offices should be open. 

While Watts said there is a contingency plan for the IRS for the rest of the year, she has no idea what happens after that. She said she fears her client will have to wait till the new year for an update.

"All we know is what goes through December 31st." Watts said. "I'm sure I'm not going to get a call back until 2019.

Buying a home has also been affected by the government shutdown. Many first-time home buyers rely on a government backed Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loan.

Dennis Lykins, a loan agent with expertise in FHA loans offered reassurance to borrowers, but he adds anything is possible

"I don't think anyone expects a extended shut down period," Lykins said. "Should this carry on for much longer than anticipated, there could be a couple of rules re-written."

No one really knows how long this shutdown could last, but there's a pretty good idea of what has to happen before it ends.

"A compromise has to be reached." Lykins said. 

Lykins said the FHA loan program should continue as normal for most home buyers during the shut down, while Watts said that the average taxpayer shouldn't expect to be affected by the shutdown so long as it doesn't last into late January.  

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A cold front is currently moving through our area this morning dropping temperatures into the lower 40s and upper 30s. Today will be a cool day with highs in the upper 40s and lower 50s with increasing clouds. Temperatures will fall into the lower 30s tonight. We could see a few areas of light rain and drizzle this evening, but precipitation chances will start to increase overnight into tomorrow morning. With the sub freezing temperatures, precipitation will transition from light rain and drizzle in the evening to snow overnight into Tuesday morning. Snowfall will continue through the morning hours on Tuesday before transitioning to a rain/snow mix while it exits the area. Most areas will see around 1-3 inches. Accumulations will stay mainly on grassy and elevated surfaces, but expect slushy road conditions Tuesday morning. Conditions will slowly start to improve for the rest of the work week with sunshine returning and temperatures slowly warming. Rain chances will return for the end of the work week.
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