Local dry cleaner abruptly closes after not paying more than $337K in taxes

HOUSTON – One by one, customers showed up at Fashion Touch Cleaners on Westheimer Road on Wednesday to find the doors of the store were locked.

Some came to the River Oaks location to drop off clothes, while other customers came to pick clothes up.

Leslie Harris told KPRC 2 she had hundreds of dollars' worth of clothing inside the business.

"I'm just really upset. I've been a customer here for a very long time, over a year. I was told this is one of the best dry cleaners in town," Harris said.

The Texas State Comptroller’s Office said the owner of the business did not pay the tax bill. The spokesman said the business was operating with a suspended sales tax permit after the owner failed to pay more than $337,000 in taxes, penalties and interest dating back to 2013.

On Tuesday night, the state seized the Westheimer Road location as well as the ones on Richmond Avenue and  Shadow Creek Parkway. The spokesperson said, if the owner doesn't pay the tax bill within three weeks, the property and its fixtures will be sold in order to pay the bill.

"They did a good job and (I'm) kinda surprised that they shut down,” said another customer.

The sign on the door of the Westheimer Road location said customers with a ticket can pick up their clothes between 5 and 7  p.m. Thursday or between 9 and 11 a.m. Saturday. The spokesperson said that, after those times, it could be another three weeks before customers can pick up their clothes.

"I'm gonna come back when they say they're open and get my clothes and hope that they're open when they say they're open," Harris said.