The town's top 20 delinquent taxpayers owe more than $1.1 million in unpaid real estate taxes.
According to the Westport Tax Collector's Office, the most back taxes are owed by PHAT Development, owner of the half-full shopping strip on the corner of Riverside Avenue and Post Road West. The property is assessed at $3.6 million and $104,930 is owed in delinquent taxes. The building was purchased in 2007. The company's principal is Philip Raviele, according to a filing on record with the Connecticut Secretary of the State.
The top 20 delinquent taxpayers list includes both commercial and residential properties. A property owned by a synagogue even made the list. The interest rate is 1.5 percent per month.
Surprisingly, tax collection rates remained relatively unchanged since the onset of the recession. The tax collection rate never dipped below 98 percent and this year is on pace for 99.11 percent. The collection rate includes deferrals on low-income households.
The reason for consistent collection rate, according to Tax Collector Peggy Klein, is the increased work her staff does to contact delinquent taxpayers.
"It's been very successful [since] we really started contacting people," she said.
On Feb. 28, two businesses paid off their personal property taxes, which are different from real estate taxes, while several others agreed to pay installments.
"We really want to work with people, not make it more difficult for them," she said.
Top 20 delinquent taxpayers as of Feb. 28.Owner Address Taxes Owed PHAT Development (Philip Ravielle, principal)
5 Riverside Ave. $104,930.45 Paul and Mary Gojkovich 238 Greens Farms Rd. $90,851.45 Susan Gauld 17 Blue Water Hill $83,803.65 Gordon McPhaden 34B Catoonah St. $70,384.26 Christopher Erling, Trustee 259 Saugatuck Ave. $68,280.02 500 Main Street Properties LLC (David Harding, president)
500 Main St. $67,663.30 Kim and Susan Westrup 26 Little Fox Ln. $62,427.95 Terry Friedberg 118 Wilton Rd. $60,580.51 Stanley and Carole Seligson 92 Beachside Ave. $59,258.95 Christopher Erling, Trustee
1 Charmers Landing
Post East LLC (Michael Calise, principal)
740 Post Road E. $55,123.98 Jonathan Jaegar 7 Blue Coat Ln. $50,740.77 Dale and Domenica Marshall 38 Strugess Commons $44,660.64 Joshua Epstein 3 Dogwood Ln. $40,728.83 Thomas and Ann-Marie Pacilio 60 Calpboard Hill Rd. $39,956.76 Synagogue of Beit Chaverim (Alan Benjamin and Frederic Nadel, co-presidents)
24 Ludlow Rd. $39,028.08 1200 Post Road East LLC (Peter Van Witt, manager)
1200 Post Road E. $38,036.44 340 Compo Road South LLC (Kevin J. McHugh, principal)
340 Compo Road S. $37,071.44 Peter Finley 19 Broad St. $37,046.69 Michael Calise 8 Sylvan Road S. $36,676.03