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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25, 2004

Schumer: Long Island Irs Jobs Are Safe For Now

Internal Revenue Service confirmed this morning that it has set aside plans to move 65 jobs from Brookhaven to states like Ohio, Utah, Pennsylvania, or Tennessee

Schumer, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, made personal appeal to IRS Commissioner in February to save jobs and is now asking IRS to keep jobs on Long Island permanently

US Senator Charles E. Schumer announced today that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has backed down from a plan to move jobs between 60 and 70 jobs from their Brookhaven Long Island facility to Ohio, Utah, Pennsylvania, or Tennessee. After the plan was announced in February, Schumer personally appealed to the IRS Commissioner, Mark W. Everson to overrule the proposal. Schumer today said he is now pressing the Commissioner to guarantee that these jobs will stay on Long Island permanently.

"So far so good – the IRS has took the plan to eliminate the Brookhaven jobs is off the table. But now they have to take it a step further and ensure that these jobs stay on Long Island for the long term," Schumer said. "We've seen way too many companies take jobs off Long Island in recent years, and the last thing the Federal government should be doing is adding to our job losses."

In early February, representatives of the IRS met with Schumer's staff and asked him to oppose a reduction-in-force (RIF) proposal that would consolidate case processing and insolvency operations. Under the plan, operations would be transferred from the current 92 locations nationwide, including Brookhaven, to service centers in Ohio, Utah, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. Schumer personally appealed to the IRS Commissioner, and has now been told that the plan to take these jobs "off-rolls" on October 1, 2004 has been abandoned.

The IRS has also told Schumer that the agency is completing a comprehensive analysis of their staffing needs, which might result in new positions being created in Brookhaven that could be filled by current Brookhaven IRS employees. More and more Americans are E-filing their income taxes online and requesting tax forms and tax assistance on via the internet, which has reduced the need for some human personnel to perform related jobs.

In addition, the IRS is completing technology upgrades that may also eliminate certain manual data entry positions. Some of the employees of the IRS' Transactional Processing Center at Brookhaven manually enter data to execute personnel actions. The US Treasury Department is deploying a new information technology system called HR Connect that is reducing the number of employees needed for manual data entry of personnel actions. Schumer today said that as these changes are implemented, new jobs created should be based in Brookhaven, so current IRS employees are able to fill them.

"It's not like the IRS doesn't need help. If you stop 10 Long Islanders on the street, you'd get 50 ideas about what else the IRS could be doing to interact with taxpayers. We need these jobs to stay on Long Island, and today's news that they aren't getting eliminated now is a good first step," Schumer said.

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