New policy frustrates Torrington taxpayers

TORRINGTON, Conn. (WTNH)– There was a lot of grumbling in this long, last-minute line to pay Torrington taxes. This time, it was not about the taxes themselves so much as it was about the man collecting them: Torrington’s podiatrist-turned-city-official, Robert Crovo.

“Do you trust Robert Crovo,” News8 asked Susan Shuhi, who was waiting in line. “No,” she replied. Shuhi was in line to ask the tax collectors’ office to post $90 that had already been collected by the tax office to her son’s delinquent account.

“It’s a matter of him taking advantage of the position he was given,” said Shuhi. It’s the same problem Torrington property owner Matt Funchion is facing.

“[The Tax Collector’s Office] has $408 that I don’t have and it seems to me that I’ve never had to do this before,” said Funchion. Funchion owns a rental property in town. He paid his taxes early, but was told he none of the money had been put toward the tax bill. He would have to return to the tax office with copies of all of the checks he has paid the city collector, along with filling out extra forms at the tax collectors office.

“It seemed to be a waste of my time and a waste of any taxpayer’s time that may be going through it,” Funchion said.

News 8 reached out several times to Crovo, through his office at City Hall and his podiatry office in Torrington, but was turned away. Crovo never returned any of News 8’s calls.

Prepaid tax money is put into a private account in Crovo’s name, where it accumulates interest. Once that account reaches $300,000, it is transferred to a city account. From that account, city records show Crovo has been paid more than $7,300 since his renewed contract in 2011.

This comes on the heels of a more than 300-page audit being returned. News 8 has learned that the city is still reviewing the audit findings, and they will be made public once the final version of the audit is released.

An attorney representing Crovo would not make an on the record comment regarding the taxpayer complaints.

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