Milford’s tax delinquents owe over $3M in taxes, interest

Milford City Hall, Spring 2021

Milford City Hall, Spring 2021

Hearst Connecticut Media

MILFORD — The top 10 delinquent taxpayers combined owe the city of Milford more than $3.5 million in taxes and interest.

“Delinquent taxes are collectible for 15 years,” said Cory Gumbrewicz, Milford’s tax collector. “If there are delinquencies for that long, we have to collect for 15 years, but we try to take action before that to try to encourage folks to pay.”

Gumbrewicz said the top 10 delinquent taxpayers list is usually the same every year.

Gumbrewicz said if someone falls behind on their tax payments, arrangements will be set up if they have fallen on hard times, but the city tries to get the taxpayer current in one to two years.

“Most accounts after a year delinquent we do send varying notices from delinquent statements over the year to then we increase the verbiage,” he said. “So we will send out different degrees of delinquent notices to let them know their status, and action will be taken as it gets closer to the one-year threshold.”

Gumbrewicz stated most of the delinquents are on the commercial side of the tax base.

Topping the list of the delinquents is Vorlon Holding LLC, which could not be reached for comment, with a total of more than $1.1 million owed on the property at 540 New Haven Ave., in the Pond Point Shopping Center. The taxes owed in principal are more than $494,000 and the interest is nearly $653,000.

“Vorlon Holdings is with the state marshal and have set up a payment plan, but it’s not a strong enough payment plan to get this resolved,” said Gumbrewicz.

Recycling Inc., at 990 Naugatuck Ave., has a total of $448,000 due and Smith Richard B and Bruce Trust at 550 New Haven Ave., also located in the Point Point Shopping Center, has $315,603.85 due in taxes. They could not be reached for comment.

“These top three are blighted properties that would require extensive remediation to make the property more suitable for tenants or to be placed on sale,” said Gumbrewicz. “I know some people have looked at the properties under Vorlon and Recycling Inc., and have had inquiries from potential buyers, but once they learned of remediation plus the cost of taxes, they did not go through with it.”

Design Land Developers of Milford appear twice on the list, once for a location at 0 Plains Road with a total of more than $311,000 due and the second time for a location at 0 Oronoque Road with a total of nearly $230,000 due in taxes. Design Land Developers could not be reached for comment.

“The property on Oronoque Road, that is a property the city of Milford did foreclose on,” said Gumbrewicz. “Once the city owns the property, the city doesn’t owe themselves money, so if we foreclose on it, the debt gets wiped out, and we have the option to either pursue the debt, take legal action against the owner, we could resell the property, or we could take the property in lieu of taxes.”

Coming in fifth and sixth on the top 10 are two beachfront property lots located at 707 and 711 East Broadway could not be reached for comment. The former has a total of $280,747 due in taxes, and the latter has a total of $279,418 due in taxes.

“They are owned by multiple people who have all been deceased,” said Gumbrewicz. “I believe there are 10 people that own it, and they split the property. But as people passed away and didn’t transfer the property over time, we try to do extensive research and only found one or two of the 10 heirs, so we are having a hard time resolving that.”

Gumbrewicz and the tax team are trying to track down the heirs to see what they would like to do with the property.

“We found one of the heirs who would like to donate it, but we are having trouble finding others,” he said.

At the bottom of the list, James M Rosa and SDM LLC at 0 Fresh Meadow Lane, a residential parcel, has a total of $196,298 due in taxes, and Gumbrewicz said they are with the state marshal trying to come up with a resolution. They could not be reached for comment.

“We are waiting for a response to see if they can track down the owner or the members of the LLC so we can find them and come up with a solution,” he said.

Gumbrewicz said the city foreclosed on the property owned by Alfred H Posey Jr. located at 122 Kings Highway, the former Al’s Service Center. The total tax due on the property is $180,657.

“This one the city did resell, and we have that debt in the process of getting written off or cleared off,” he said.

Recycling Inc. appears again at the bottom of the top 10 list with a property at 0 Naugatuck Ave. that owes $162,369.

“Both of the properties have been referred to the city attorney. They are if they have not already started a legal proceeding against that owner for those two properties,” said Gumbrewicz. “Some of them we are able to resolve if we get a response or find the owners and find the best way to work with the owners of the property, but some of the folks we are having a hard time finding, we have to be more creative or find a better option.”