NEW YORK– The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (NYSDTF) put a padlock on the Greek supermarket Euro Market in Astoria for non-payment of New York State sales taxes. The order to close the supermarket was issued on Wednesday August 10, and posted on the door in two documents.
The orange document inscribed “Seized” said that “this property has been seized for non-payment of taxes and is now in the possession of the State of New York” and warns “any person who attempts to tamper or interfere with this property will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
The second document, the tax compliance agents levy cited the warrant issued by the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance of the State of New York against Markella Corp. trading as European Market which is now in possession of the state of New York, pursuant to Articles 28/29, Section 1141.
The supermarket located at 30-46 31 Street in Astoria, adjacent to the parking lot of the Cathedral of St. Demetrios of Astoria, was frequented by many Greeks, Greek-Americans, and local Astorians who preferred the Greek and other European products available. The owner of the supermarket could not be reached for comment at press time.
NYSDTF Assistant Public Information Officer James Gazzale spoke with the National Herald and noted that the department was forced to seize Euro Market on Wednesday because the efforts to settle the matter had so far failed. He pointed out that the seizure was for unpaid New York State sales tax in the amount of $218,014.80 which the company withheld from 2012 until today.
Asked about the process of seizing the business for unpaid taxes, Gazzale said that there were three open warrants, for February 2012, May 2015, and August 2016. He observed that the first two orders were not implemented because NYSDTF was trying to work with the company to resolve the debt, and to avoid any disruption in the company’s operation.
Gazzale explained that NYSDTF is continuing its efforts to find a solution, communicating with the business owners to resolve the debt, and that once the two sides reach a settlement, Euro Market could soon reopen.