Retirement community in Southwick owes more than $400K in back taxes

Hampden County

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (WWLP) – A retirement community in Southwick owes the town hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes.

The town treasurer told 22News the American Inn in Southwick owes more than $400,000 in back taxes, and come Thursday, a lien will be put on the property.

The American Inn at Sawmill Park is a 50-acre property, with hundreds of units across its cottage, apartment, and assisted living style spaces.

The facility has been around since the ’90s, but town Treasurer Michelle Hill told 22News, the company that owns the facility had gotten behind on their taxes for years, but this year, for the first time, she said they haven’t paid any of their taxes for all of this fiscal year.

She said they owe the town more than $400,000. One woman Southwick woman, who didn’t want to appear on camera, said the situation is unfair to the residents.

“Just worried that something might happen that they can’t live there no more I mean who knows what will happen,” said the Southwick woman. “They pay a lot of money to live there.”

The town has more than 20 pages worth of back taxes notices for American Inn Inc., the American Inn at Sawmill Park, and GKS Corporation, which reports filed with the commonwealth show was operated by the same individual, Michael Guarco.

The state’s Office of Health and Human Services said the office of elder affairs has not been notified that the American Inn for Retirement Living plans on closing. And facilities like this do have specific reporting requirements to the state if they were to close.

22News could not enter the American Inn property, but we went to a home believed to belong to Michael Guarco in Southwick, before tracking him down to a home in Connecticut.

He said the facility will not close, and they are working to pay the taxes.

“Hopefully the lien doesn’t go on the property. We’re working on doing something about it right now,” said Guarco. “We’re working on getting them paid. It’s not going to close absolutely not.”

According to the secretary of the commonwealth, their office or a court order asked for a dissolution of the company GLK in June of this year.

According to the town’s website, The treasurer should either collect the unpaid taxes or, at least six months after the taking, commence land court foreclosure proceedings.

The town treasurer told 22News they do not want to take over the facility, the lien just protects the town in the event the American Inn was to be sold.

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