Pennsylvania producers join retail licensees in having certain fees waived
Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) today approved, by a vote of 2-1, the forgiveness of an estimated $1.8 million in license fees in 2021 for manufacturing licensees – wineries, breweries, and distilleries. Additionally, fees for sacramental wine licensees will be waived for 2021.
“In late October, at the urging of Governor Wolf, the PLCB waived fees for retail licensees most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including holders of restaurant, retail dispenser, club, catering club, and hotel licenses. We realize that Pennsylvania beverage alcohol producers are also struggling during this public health crisis, so we are extending the waiver of certain fees for wineries, breweries, and distilleries,” said Board Chairman Tim Holden.
The fees charged to manufacturers and sacramental wine licensees to renew their licenses during 2021, which vary from $385 to $5,400, will not be collected since many of these licensees also allow on-premises consumption and were therefore affected by the restrictions placed on such businesses. The waived fees include the application, renewal, and license fees for wineries, limited wineries, distilleries, limited distilleries, distilleries of historical significance, breweries, and alternate breweries.
These waivers apply for the licensing term that goes into effect in 2021. For manufacturers, this means the licensing term that begins on Jan. 1, 2021, even though those applications are filed and approved in the latter part of 2020. Any licensee that has already submitted an application for a license that goes into effect in 2021 and paid the relevant fees will receive a refund in due course.
“Again, this decision for me is not about whether such relief is deserved by struggling businesses, rather it’s about ignoring requirements established by the Liquor Code and other state laws,” said Board Member Mike Negra. “I believe our administrative role is to follow the legislative process put into place by those elected to office by the citizens of Pennsylvania, and relief like this can only be granted appropriately by the state legislature.”
Licensees are encouraged to review the PLCB’s revised Advisory Notice 27 for details on the fee waivers.
The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates 600 wine and spirits stores statewide, and licenses 20,000 alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers. The PLCB also works to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking through partnerships with schools, community groups, and licensees. Taxes and store profits – totaling nearly $17.9 billion since the agency’s inception – are returned to Pennsylvania’s General Fund, which finances Pennsylvania’s schools, health and human services programs, law enforcement, and public safety initiatives, among other important public services. The PLCB also provides financial support for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, other state agencies, and local municipalities across the state. For more information about the PLCB, visit lcb.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Shawn M. Kelly, 717.303.8522
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