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Oxford Officials: Last Chance For Business That Owes $1.3M in Taxes

The town will meet with the business owner to try to rectify tax problem, other issues, before attempting to take the property through legal action.

Clarification: Tim Wahba leased space in the building. His father owned the building. We wrote this clarification after Tim Whaba called us during the week of Sept. 9, 2013. - Paul Singley 

The town is giving a local business owner one last chance to rectify problems at his business on Hawley Road, including more than $1.3 million in back taxes, before it tries to take the business' property through legal action.

First Selectman said Tuesday that he will meet with Tim Wahba, whose business is headquartered in Greenwich, within the next two weeks to discuss whether Wahba has plans to fix fire and building code concerns at the 66 Hawley Road property and to pay back the taxes in a timely fashion.

Wahba runs SteelVault Datacenters, which provides information technology infrastructure and services to businesses, out of the building owned by his father, Mahmoud Wahba, according to records on file at the Oxford Planning & Zoning office. Zoning Enforcement Officer Anna Silva Rycenga has filed two separate cease and desist orders this year with the company after land use commissioners told her to do so because the property did not have a permit to operate and it had building and safety code issues.

Last week, P&Z commissioners gave Tim Wahba two more weeks to work out his issues with Fire Chief Scott Pelletier, who also serves as fire marshal, and Building Official Gordon Gramolini. And, of course,they want him to work on paying the taxes owed on the building.

"We absolutely need to see a real effort on the taxes," Temple said. "We have to protect the town's interests."

When reached by phone on Tuesday, Tim Wahba said he believes what town officials are telling the media is different from what’s on the public record but didn’t elaborate. (Editor's Note: We did not find that to be the case.) He said he’d call back an editor for Patch to discuss the issue further but never did.

P&Z officials said Wahba attended a P&Z meeting last week and said he was there in good faith trying to rectify his problems and work with the town.

MyGoodPeople February 08, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Being a long time taxpayer I would like to know how it is possible that this company owes 1.3 MILLION dollars in back taxes? How many years has the town allowed them to slide? This is amazing and unacceptable. How many more companies have been allowed to delay payment?
Rich Gee February 09, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Totally agree here - sounds like they've been sliding for years. Another Temple catch - this guy is good!
Betty Ippolito February 09, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Unbelievable!!?? I agree, how many years has this been overlooked? Was our ex tax collector involved with this and how many more people or companies owe back taxes? Question: Doesn't the company that audits our books know what back taxes are owed when they audit our books and if so why didn't we know about it before now?
Holly A February 13, 2012 at 12:54 AM
They actually haven't been in there all that long, a handful of years.
P Curley February 13, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Does the company that owes the tax own the real estate?. It is common business practice to form a separate corporation, (or LLC) to own the real estate. In that case, the city could not seize the real estate since the comapny that owed the real estate would not be the tax delinquent. Only the operating company woule be the debtor.
Will Wilkin February 13, 2012 at 01:28 PM
I would be shocked and incredulous if the town of Oxford pays substitute teachers $250 a day. Substitute teaching is notoriously underpaid. Unless you mean a "long-term sub," who after a certain number of days on the same assignment gets bumped up to the normal pay for that position....AS IT SHOULD BE. After all, they are then doing the same work (planning, grading, etc) and normally have the same qualifications (certification). Educating our children is the best possible use of money. They are the future of our society.
Will Wilkin February 13, 2012 at 01:33 PM
The owner of the property, whether the business or a landlord, is responsible for paying the taxes. If a landlord, they pass this cost on to the business (tenant) by building it into the lease payment. If the landlord doesn't pay taxes and the town takes the property, that would seem to me a dispute between the business and the landlord, not the business and the town. The town would be within its rights, and the business has a grievance against the landlord, who misappropriated the funds if rent was paid and taxes weren't.
Larry Pinch September 21, 2012 at 02:21 AM
This Wahba clan is a family from Greenwich connecticut who brags about being well connected in the state government, the word they owe a lot more than 1.3 million but received tax rebates, they also lost a project called greenwich landing, they use shell corporation all the time to scam local government and stiff tax payers by not paying a fair share, they are also delinquent in Newport News, Va. where they have not paid taxes there too and the town is about to foreclose. http://www.greenwichtime.com/local/article/Foreclosed-luxury-condominium-project-in-Byram-up-581793.php

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