Limiting the Number of Licenses for Alcohol Retailers

H.3375 would prohibit the issuance of an alcohol retail dealer’s license if issuing the license would increase a county’s license ratio past one license per 7,500 residents. The bill would also allow the transference of a license (currently prohibited) but in most cases it would require a $5,000 transfer fee to do so.

Under current law transfers are forbidden and the state may decline to issue a license if it feels an area is already adequately served (although there is no explicit criteria for what constitutes adequate service). This bill may or may not be an improvement over current law, but as a reform effort it is weak at best. True reform would mean getting rid of licenses all together, or at least forbidding the denial of a license based on determinations of adequate service. Individuals can use their dollars to signal whether they want another alcohol retailer in their home county, no state intervention is required.

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