Save Toscanini’s, Save the Burnt Caramel Ice Cream

1200607814The Toscanini’s saga continues to unfold, four days after its surprise shuttering for unpaid taxes. On Friday, owner Gus Rancantore informed us that he and sister/partner Mimi were working to set up a payment plan with the state, and hoped to reopen on Tuesday. On Saturday, the Rancantoris launched Save Tosci’s, a PayPal-enabled blog aimed at raising $25,000 for a down payment on their bill. They also sent out a public statement.

“We definitely owe the Mass. Department of Revenue money for unpaid taxes. We have never denied this and our discussions with the Mass. DOR have involved the size of a down payment necessary to begin a plan to pay everything. These unpaid taxes are our responsibility. Much of the total figure used by the Mass. DOR includes interest and penalties incurred during our confused attempt to expand the business between 2000 and 2005.”

Not surprisingly, this move has sparked a range of responses, most of which fall into three categories:

1) Gus and Mimi Rancantore give generously to the community. Now they need our help. Save Tosci’s!

2) You’re asking me to donate money to a for-profit business so they can pay their taxes? Screw you!

3) I don’t care about Gus and Mimi or the Tosci community…I just want more burnt caramel ice cream.

According to Samuel Mehr, a Toscanini’s employee, the site has raised just over $9,000 as of noon today.

“About one hundred people have donated and the total has been changing quickly,” he said via email. “Online contributions have ranged from $5 to $700. We have been reading comments on the blog and (a) yes, we are in discussions with an accountant as to how the donations will be filed on our tax return for 2008, and (b) yes, we do plan a full analysis of the business after we can open our doors and start earning revenue.”