Revenue agents shutter Chambers Motors

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Georgia Department of Revenue seized a local auto dealership Thursday, alleging it failed to pay more than $352,000 in sales taxes, fees and penalties.

Padlocks and yellow tape blocked access to the Bill Chambers Motors car lot at 409 West Oglethorpe Blvd. Thursday following a raid by state revenue agents.

Liens filed in Dougherty Superior Court allege that the owner of the dealership, William H. Chambers Jr., owes the state government $352,557.49 in sales taxes, fees and penalties going back to November 2008.

The liens break down sales and use tax figures month-by-month beginning in November 2008 and ending this June. For that month alone, state investigators allege that Chambers owes more than $20,000 in sales tax.

Bill Chambers Motors is one of Albany's longest-running family car dealerships. According to the company's website, the business was originally started by William Chambers Sr. and has been at the Oglethorpe location since 1955.

According to court documents, the company's financial woes don't stop with the liens.

Heritage Bank of the South currently is suing Chambers individually and as owner of the company for more than $20,000 it alleges he owes after a car buyer filed bankruptcy after taking the note. According to court documents, Heritage was in a co-debtor position, and despite attempts to reconcile the amount, has not been paid.

Additionally, Butler Capital -- a Maryland-based corporate lender -- is suing Bill Chambers Motors for more than $42,000 it contends the company owes after Chambers failed to make monthly payments to the company and was declared to be in default of a lease agreement. In addition to the money it says Chambers owes, Butler is also seeking between 18 and 24 percent interest on the principle and payment of attorney's fees.