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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 6, 2020 03:07 PM
From: Representative Frank Burns
To: All House members
Subject: Waiving Liquor License Fees for Restaurants and Clubs
Restaurants, taverns and social clubs have been among the hardest hit by statewide closure orders due to COVID-19.  These mom-and-pop businesses and nonprofit community clubs were forced to slash their operations overnight, closing dining rooms and bars, canceling special events and ceasing service except for take-out or delivery orders. 

I believe we need to help ease the financial losses these businesses have experienced over the last few months. That’s why I’m introducing legislation that would waive liquor license renewal, validation and surcharge fees for 2020 for all restaurant, eating place, hotel and club licensees.  Those that have already paid their fees for 2020 would have the option of receiving a refund from the Liquor Control Board or a credit for their 2021 fees.  All applicable license renewal or validation paperwork would still be filed as usual with the PLCB.

I have heard from licensees in my district who fear they may never reopen, even when it is safe to do so.  These annual fees and surcharges add up to thousands of dollars that many restaurants and clubs can’t afford after months of limited or no income during the coronavirus pandemic.  Allowing licensees to keep a little more money in their bank account can help to ensure these pillars of our community survive to reopen.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation and supporting small businesses by waiving their 2020 liquor license renewal fees.