Reps. Wheatley, Deasy urge governor to waive liquor license fees for bars, restaurants

HARRISBURG, May 8 – State Reps. Jake Wheatley and Dan Deasy have sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf requesting that liquor license fees be waived for restaurants and bars, citing the devastating impacts the industry has experienced due to the pandemic.

Wheatley and Deasy, both D-Allegheny, said community restaurants and bars have either had to close or significantly curb their hours and operations in order to slow the spread of the virus. They have requested the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board waive or refund this year's license renewal and/or validation fees for liquor licensees that have remained closed or that have demonstrated significant loss of 25% or more to their business.

“These businesses truly deserve a break, especially when you consider that many of them have already experienced significant losses of income,” said Wheatley, Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee. “They’ve been responsible and what better way can we help them get back on their economic feet than to give them this break on the liquor license fees. It’s the right thing to do.”

“It is critical that we help our local restaurants and bars in their time of need, because these establishments connect communities,” said Deasy, Democratic chairman of the House Liquor Control Committee. “We cannot sit back and watch these businesses that provide not only employment but are the fabric of our community. They bring us together, and now they need our help.”

Deasy and Wheatley said while such a move could cost local municipalities and the state less revenue initially, by not providing this help, communities could lose these valuable businesses forever.

A copy of the letter can be found at this link: https://pahouse.com/files/Documents/2020-05-07_033145__Gov%20Letter%20from%20Deasy%20and%20Wheatley%20re%20liquor%20license%20renewal%20fees.pdf