The state has seized the Brigham's Ice Cream restaurant in Arlington Heights for not paying its taxes. Photo by Brock Parker.
State officials have seized a Brigham’s Ice Cream shop in Arlington for failing to pay more than $90,000 in meals taxes.
Massachusetts Department of Revenue spokesman Bob Bliss said Wednesday that the restaurant at 1328 Massachusetts Ave. in Arlington Heights owes the state $92,387 dating back to 2009.
The Brigham’s, one of the few remaining in the state, is independently owned by John Mercer and Steven Kupelnick, whom could not be reached for comment.
They closed their other Brigham’s restaurant in Belmont in January after almost 80 years in operation because they said business was down and they could not afford to renew their lease. Mercer told the Globe in January that he believed the Arlington Brigham’s was one of only four that remained open in the state. He said the business had just signed a new lease for the location.
If the store owners do not move to pay at least a significant portion of the overdue taxes within the next two to three weeks, Bliss said the state will begin selling off the equipment inside the restaurant.
Bliss said the taxes owed by restaurant stem from a 6.25 percent meals tax owed to the state on sales at the business. He said that based on the tens of thousands of businesses in the state, the practice of seizing a business for unpaid taxes is fairly rare. But he said as many as 60 to 80 businesses are seized by the state each year for unpaid taxes.
Bliss said the Brigham’s owners had been receiving notices since 2010 that the taxes were overdue.