Thursday, June 07, 2007

But I thought the benefits outweighed the costs! 

St. Louis County Commissioner Keith Nelson said Tuesday he plans to introduce a resolution at next Tuesday�s board meeting that would reduce for several years liquor license fees, to help them transition to when the new statewide smoking ban law goes into effect on Oct. 1.

�I�m looking at this as a business retention tool,�� Nelson told other County Board commissioners Tuesday during their Committee of the Whole portion, as a way to help small businesses.

The typical small- to mid-sized business brings in property taxes to the county worth what 10 homestead properties might generate. �This is a valuable industry to us,�� Nelson explained. �They pay a lot of property taxes.��

The county collects about $84,000 annually from on-sale liquor licenses. Nelson is proposing that the fees be adjusted by an amount not to exceed 50 percent per license for two years, starting next year, and to add a third year to reduced fees if the total number of licenses declines by more than 10 percent in the first two years, or 5 percent annually.

While fees vary according to different criteria, a typical on-sale liquor license issued by the county can cost $1,000 each.

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