Portuguese Club pays back taxes


By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

Members of Recordacoes de Portugal of Bridgeport perform Portuguese folklore dancing in October 2020 at the Naugatuck Portuguese Club during a Save the Club fundraising event to help pay off back taxes owed to the borough. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN ARCHIVES

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Portuguese Club has paid off over $200,000 in back taxes owed to the borough.

The club paid the borough $232,429 on Jan. 21, according to payment records. The money covered taxes due going back to 2015 as well as interest and fees.

The club still owes $16,253 for its January tax payment, Tax Collector James Goggin said. The payment isn’t due until April since the state allowed municipalities to defer tax payments because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

The club was formed in March 1936 by borough residents who emigrated from Portugal. Today the club owns the land and buildings at 110 Rubber Ave., where the club operates.

Borough officials worked with the club to pay off the debt, including helping to organize A Save the Club event last October and a raffle to raise funds.

“I think they’re great for the community, and it’s wonderful the community was able to help them and they were able to help themselves and pay the taxes,” Goggin said.

The club raised over $112,000 through the fundraisers, the annual Sao Paio Feast and donations from club members and the public, said Pedro DaSilva, who took over as club president in late January.

DaSilva, who has been a member of the club for 13 years and previously served as its treasurer and vice president, said the organization also received a $5,000 grant and a loan for $110,300 to help pay off its debt.

DaSilva said last week he was not sure yet how the club will raise the money to pay the $16,253 in taxes due by April.

“It’s not going to be easy,” DaSilva said. “Might have to go to members again and ask for money.”

Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said he’s happy the club paid its back taxes and will continue its wonderful tradition in Naugatuck.

“There was a large community effort where a lot people worked together to help the club,” Hess said.