Bill would pick up the tab for alcohol license fees in Montgomery County

Bars and restaurants pay a kind of bar tab in the form of licenses to sell alcohol, and a Maryland state lawmaker would like to give them a break.

Del. Eric Luedtke, House Majority leader in Annapolis, has come up with a bill that would exempt bars and restaurants in Montgomery County from paying alcohol license fees, which can run up to $2,500.

The bill is being introduced as a local emergency measure, meaning if it passes in Annapolis, it would go into effect as soon as it is signed. It would apply to Montgomery County businesses only.

The exemption is designed to extend the current statewide executive order that relieves bars and restaurants from paying alcohol licensing fees.

Among those supporting the bill is Montgomery County Council member Andrew Friedson, the co-sponsor of a similar measure that is now passed into law that exempts county businesses from having to pay fees for something called a trader’s license, which is effectively part of the cost of doing business as a vendor in Montgomery County.

Those fees can run anywhere from $15 to $800. That county bill was enacted in September.

The Maryland General Assembly session begins next month.

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