NAUGATUCK — Savoy & Associates Private Investigations will resume its work tracking down motor vehicles that aren’t registered in Naugatuck — or registered at all — but should be on the borough’s tax rolls.
The Board of Mayor and Burgesses Feb. 4 approved another agreement with Savoy & Associates Private Investigations, which the borough first hired in 2018 to compile a list of potential vehicles that people should be paying taxes on in Naugatuck but aren’t.
The Naugatuck-based firm’s 2018 investigation found nearly 500 such vehicles, according to owner Stephanie Savoy said.
“Between the out-of-state cars, unregistered cars, unregistered campers and trailers, anything taxable, we came in about 486,” she said.
Under the new agreement, the borough will pay Savoy & Associates $125 per hour, up to $100,000 total.
Officials intend to use the tax revenue collected from cars added to the tax rolls through the investigation to cover Savoy & Associates’ fees. Controller Allyson Bruce said, in a subsequent interview, the borough will set up an expenditure account to pay the fees.
Tax Collector James Goggin said, in a subsequent interview, that 49 previously unregistered cars that the firm identified are now registered and on the tax rolls.
When officials discover a vehicle that should be registered in Naugatuck, Goggin said the owner is sent a personal property declaration form. He said the owner either has to register the car or declare it as personal property, which is the case when a vehicle doesn’t have a license plate. If the owner doesn’t respond, he said, the assessor will add the vehicle to the grand list.
Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said officials want to continue to be aggressive in making sure that taxes are collected on all taxable property. He feels there are more cars that haven’t been uncovered yet and investigators can help the borough in cases that are challenged.
“As we can see from the results so far, there are a large number of vehicles in Naugatuck that are trying to avoid paying their taxes by not registering their motor vehicles,” Hess said. “The initial investigation has discovered about 500 cars are not properly registered and are not paying taxes to the borough. From a financial standpoint, it’s important that everyone pay their fair share.”