Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More Liquor License Nonsense

I attended last nights License and Welfare Committee meeting at city hall. The mishandling of the City Haul underaged drinking/gun toting fiasco was not the only news. It may come as news to some that there is a cap on the number of liquor licenses. After reaching the cap, some additional licenses can be issued, but they cost $10,000. This cap apparently was instituted statewide with the full endorsement of the tavern league, which would make the tavern league much like a union, as this license cap would limit competition for license holders while upping the value of establishments that hold licenses. One perhaps unintended consequence of such legislation was evident last night. The owner of a property that had housed Peg and Lou's was seeking to secure a liquor license, even though he had no intention of operating the establishment. He wants the license, worth $10,000, so that he can more easily sell his building. I can hardly blame him. But if the city is to play favorites and issue licenses to people who don't intend to use them, they are being unfair, to the tune of $10,000, to anyone who does wish to operate an establishment that serves alcohol.

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