GOP lawmakers say permit fees for restaurants, bars to comply with reopening plans unfair

GOP lawmakers say permit fees for restaurants, bars to comply with reopening plans unfair

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblymen John DiMaio and Kevin J. Rooney are calling for the state division of Alcoholic Beverage Control and municipalities to waive fees for restaurants and bars reopening under Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive orders.

The state ABC is charging $75 to apply for a one-time, special permit to serve alcohol outside.

John DiMaio
“It is absolutely insane that restaurants and bars need an additional permit while limiting the number of customers they can accommodate,” said DiMaio (R-Hunterdon-Warren). “They should have to fork over more money just so they can keep up with Governor Murphy’s executive orders. This seems like an easy money grab on many establishments just trying to survive legally in New Jersey.”

According to the ABC website, limited outdoor service can begin on June 15 under a new permit to licensees. The permit allows them to move operations outside to accommodate social distancing with an onetime $75 fee. Some municipalities are charging more with an additional fee.

“Every dollar is crucial to stay afloat and now the state and some municipalities want to suck more from bars and restaurants,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “We want to see all these permit fees waived to give these establishments a fighting chance to survive in this new economy.”