By CAROLINE MURRAY
MAYFIELD -- The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has seized Pour Jim's restaurant and tavern.
Located on 2399 Route 30, a bright orange sign hung outside the establishment's front door Thursday morning, stating the property has been seized for non-payment of taxes and is now in the possession of the state.
According the department's tax warrant notice information system , restaurant owner James E. Peters has failed to pay more than $350,0000 in state taxes since September 2009.
Glove City Reality Inc. real-estate sales agent Anthony Christiano said the restaurant has been on the market for a few years and is listed for $499,999.
Christiano said he was not able to get in contact with the owner, James Peters, to discuss the issue.
"I was surprised," Christiano said. "I am going to contact Jim to see what is going on."
Peters was unable to be reached for a comment.
According to the department's website, a seizure and sale is an action taken when all other attempts to collect taxes fails. During the procedure, all of the businesses assets are seized, unless both parties reach a solution prior to the sale.
If no compromise is reached, the state will sell the businesses property at a public auction for "at least fair market value."
If the proceeds made exceed the debt owed, and the department's expenses, the remainder of the money is given to the owner, according to the website.
Mayfield code enforcement officer Michael Stewart said Pour Jim's was closed during the winter, which is unusual for the establishment. Stewart said when it reopened in the summer, the place looked busy when he would drive by.
Stewart said it was a shock to hear about the Peters misfortune.
"It is a shame when you see any business, particularly a local business, fail," he said.
Town Supervisor Richard Argotsinger is an area native, and said his parents went to dinner at the former Check In before it became Pour Jim's.
He said a failing business hurts the community. He said the town is losing another source of sales tax, and Mayfield residents are losing out on a long time hang-out and eatery.
"There was no foreseeing this ... the state did not contact the town," Argotsinger said.