Published: Apr 20, 2010 4:33 AM EDT

A local business owner is fighting back against Lee County, objecting to a tax liability that he claims, dates back to the previous owner.

"I am not angry, but I am frustrated," said Jack Lurie, owner of Tropical Hardware in Fort Myers.

He says he received a notice last week from the Lee Tax Collector.  It says:  pay $8000 in taxes, or agents will seize the assets in the store.

"I could not believe it.  The tax is for tangible property, and I believe it goes back to the previous onwer, who walked away from the store and declared bankruptcy," says Lurie.    He obtained the store from a bank, after the previous owner abandoned the property.    He claims, there was no mention at closing of any unpaid tax liability.

WINK News made repeated requests to the tax collector, to explain the action.   We were told:   people were researching the matter, and that the seizure of property had been put on hold, at least temporarily.    The office refused to explain anything  bout the laws on tax liability or tangible business assets.   

Lurie says, it goes with the times.   "Many small businesses are having a real tough go of it.  You would think that county and city government would want to be  cooperative.    But in my experience, they are not," he said.

Lurie says he might make a deal for a small tax payment, to make the issue go away.  But he will not pay $8000.