County hikes fees for liquor licenses

October 6, 2010

Liquor store owners in El Paso County must cough up more money for fees pertaining to liquor licensing after County Commissioners this week approved a series of application and licensing fee increases.  

Commissioners haven’t adjusted such charges for a few years, according to Dave Rose, county spokesman. The move brings the fees for new licenses and transfer of ownership applications to the maximum allowed by state statute, he said.

“The fees are to cover the cost of services, which range from zoning and planning to law enforcement,” Rose said. “The board has a general rule that fees should relate to what it costs to police that activity. We want to have the industries that cause us particular expenses pay fees — so taxpayers don’t have to pay.”

Under the regulations, the cost of a new liquor license increases from $625 to $1,000. Transfer of location and transfer of ownership each jump from $625 to $750.

Two expenses will remain the same: license renewals, at $75, and new and renewal of art gallery permits, at $100.

The county also will continue to collect a $75 permit fee for each special event, and a $100 tastings permit for retail liquor stores and liquor-licensed drug stores. New is a $75 fee for tastings permit modification applications. Other minor changes also were made.  

The income is a small source of revenue for the county, Rose said. As of Sept. 22, annual liquor license application, license and permit fees collected for the year totaled $16,748.

The county receives 15 percent of licensing fees and 100 percent of application fees. The Colorado Department of Revenue gets 85 percent of the local annual license fees.

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