Florida Hooters Closed For Tax Liens – Tax Auction This Saturday (4/16/2011)

In Florida Tax Issues, IRS Tax Help, Tax News, Tax Planning by Sarah E. Martello

The Handwritten "Closed, No Longer Open" Sign Attached to the entrance of the Gainesville, Florida Hooters

Tax Day 2011 – Have No Fear, Hooters is Here!!  Well, at least they were here…

According to a handwritten poster on the door, Hooters of Gainesville, located at Southwest 34th Street in Gainesville, Florida, is

“CLOSED: No Longer Open”

The Gainesville and Ocala locations closed on Monday, March 21, 2011, along with other locations, including Valdosta, Georgia, Montgomery, Alabama, Spartanburg, South Carolina, and four North Carolina locations. These particular Hooters locations were all operated by the company, Owl Eyes.

Reporter, Rick Allen spoke with regional supervisor for Owl Eyes, Brian Greene.  Greene indicated there had been some disagreement between Owl Eyes and Hooters of America over who would assume the franchise fees owed by the previous franchisee when Owl Eyes acquired the locations.

Although the turmoil within the franchise may have played

a role in closing these Hooters’ locations, Alachua County Tax Collector Von Frasier’s bright orange NOTICE plastered onto each entrance tells a different story.

The Tax Notice states that all unpaid taxes owed pursuant to Florida law will be a lien on the property and if taxes remain delinquent on April 1, 2011, all property will be levied, seized and sold to pay the Hooters’ outstanding tax liability.  Unfortunately, that is exactly what’s about to happen.  A second Tax Notice on the doors states that “Alachua County Tax Collector Will Auction” all of the tangible personal property of Hooters of Gainesville on Saturday, April 16, 2011.

The Notice of a Tax Auction Posted on the Gainesville Hooter's Entrance

Owl Eyes was allegedly “surprised and caught off guard” upon receipt of the letter telling them to “close the doors.”  The letter is speculated to have came from Hooters of America; however, it’s likely “the letter” was courtesy of the Alachua County Tax Collector – warning that Hooter’s property was about to be seized.

The upside – local Hooter’s fans now have the opportunity to buy all sorts of coveted Hooter’s memorabilia!  The Alachua County Tax Collector will be auctioning off the goods this Saturday, April 16, 2011 at the former Hooter’s location – 3265 SW 34th Street in Gainesville, FL.

Ironically, www.hooters.com is currently advertising an “instant relief for tax day…buy 10 wings, get 10 free.”  Looks like the “tax day relief” will come a little too late for the Gainesville, Florida Hooters!

For more information, see Rick Allen’s coverage of the closing here: http://www.gainesville.com/article/20110323/GUARDIAN/110319547