Saturday, 2:15 PM
Greyhound track hopes to settle tax dispute with Revere
By Katheleen Conti, Globe Staff
REVERE -- Wonderland Greyhound Park owners expressed regret today over a two-year, $789,293 tax delinquency that triggered foreclosure proceedings, and said they hope to come to terms with Revere city officials on a payment plan.
"We take full responsibility and have taken immediate action to arrange a payment plan to settle the arrears," read a statement from Richard Dalton, president of Westwood Group, which owns the track. "We have spoken with Mayor [Thomas G.] Ambrosino and expressed our deep regrets for any inconvenience we have caused the City of Revere. The City of Revere has been a long and trusted partner and we value our continued relationship with the community."
Ambrosino said he received a phone call today from the track's attorney, James J. Cipoletta, asking for a meeting with the city's tax attorney to negotiate a plan. Track owners also owe $16,673.70 in water and sewer bills. Until both sides agree to "an acceptable payment plan," the city will continue its foreclosure proceedings on the track, as well as continue charging fees and interest on the back taxes and bills, Ambrosino said.
The city's License Commission will also continue to move forward with a request from Ambrosino to hold a revocation hearing of the track's liquor, restaurant, and parking licenses, unless an agreement is reached.
"They never had any intention of shirking their responsibilities to the city whether in connection to taxes or in regard to licensing fees," Cipoletta said. "I hope that this is resolved quickly by next week. I'm confident we'll have some sort of an agreement."
Attorneys are scheduled to meet on Aug. 7, but Cipoletta said they may hold preliminary meetings before then.
Wonderland is the city's eighth biggest taxpayer, and now its largest tax delinquent. In 1994, Wonderland paid $1.6 million in back taxes. The city placed a lien on the property in June 2007. The next step is foreclosure, which, according to the mayor, can move at a glacial pace.
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