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Business Directory S-Z : Index: Taverns & Saloons

Lisbon advised not to fight $10,000 tavern license fee - Attorney tells board members not to join other community protests

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Tuesday, January 13, 1998
Author: Journal Sentinel staff
 

Town Board members were strongly advised by their attorney Monday not to jump on the bandwagon of other communities that are bucking the state's new $10,000 tavern license fee.

"You don't have any alternative but to collect the fee," Town Attorney James Hammes told the board.

Some communities have refused to collect the new fee and are staying with the $500 fee that was in place before the law changed on Dec. 1. Others are collecting the new fee but offering rebates.

"I have some reservations, frankly, about the legality of doing that," Hammes said about the rebates.

If the board wants to offer rebates it must consider the practice as an overall town policy, he said.

"Are you going to run into that in the future with other type of fees that you're going to collect?" Hammes asked. "Where do you draw the line in refunding fees?

"It's a fee that was established by the Legislature. I mean, it's the law."

Hammes suggested it wasn't the communities that should be challenging the law, but rather, the businesses affected by it.

The board tabled a request for a new tavern license by the Ironwood Golf Course until Hammes can research the issue further.

Town Chairman Gerald Schmitz said he preferred to stay away from offering rebates or refunds.

"That's precedent-setting and I'd rather not do that," Schmitz said.

Town Supervisor Jane Stadler said she did not want to take on the state.

"As far as I'm concerned if it has to be, it has to be," she said.

The elected boards in Brookfield, Menomonee Falls, Delafield and Plymouth in Sheboygan County have refused to accept the new law. Other communities, such as Wauwatosa and New Berlin, have created rebates as a way of complying with the collection of the fee without penalizing prospective new businesses.

Waukesha and Muskego are considering similar ordinances. A Sussex Village Board committee is expected to discuss the law tonight.

Efforts are under way in the state Legislature to repeal the law, which was aimed at increasing the value of the state's 11,000 taverns and protecting them from new competition

Panel seeks plan to evade tavern fee - Germantown committee looking into refunding $10,000 license fee

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Wednesday, January 14, 1998

Author: Journal Sentinel staff
 

The Public Safety Committee is looking into establishing a community grant program that in effect would circumvent the state's new $10,000 tavern license fee.

The committee voted, 4-0, Tuesday night to direct the village attorney to draft an ordinance that would set up a grant program that would refund the $10,000 fee to tavern owners.

The committee also recommended that the Village Board issue a new license to Scott and Jamie Pecor, brothers who last November purchased a rundown bowling alley with the intent of renovating and converting it into a family restaurant with an attached bowling alley.

"From a personal standpoint, I'm not a fan of what the state did," said Michael Stone, committee chairman.

As of Dec. 1, the state, at the request of the Tavern League of Wisconsin, began requiring local governments to charge $10,000 for a new Class B tavern license. That is to be in addition to the normal fees of $500 for a liquor license and $1 for another license for beer. Under the law, the fee to transfer or renew a tavern license stays at $500. The intent of the new law is to encourage would-be tavern owners to buy existing taverns.

"We didn't go into this thinking we'd pay $10,000," Scott Pecor told the committee.

Several committee members expressed displeasure with the new state law, but they also did not want to directly flout the law as some other municipalities are doing to impose the new fee.

"I'd rather see the City of Brookfield the first city sued by the tavern league rather than the Village of Germantown," Stone said.

After the meeting, Scott and Jamie Pecor said they were pleased with the committee's direction.

"We're happy with the way things went tonight," Scott Pecor said. "The Village of Germantown has been working with us."

The village attorney is to bring a draft of the ordinance to the next Public Safety Committee meeting. On Monday, the Lisbon Town Board was strongly advised by its attorney not to jump on the bandwagon of other communities that are bucking the new tavern fee.

Some communities have refused to collect the new fee and are staying with the $500 fee that was in place before the law changed. Others are collecting the new fee but offering rebates.

The elected boards in Brookfield, Menomonee Falls, Delafield and Plymouth in Sheboygan County have refused to accept the new law. Other communities, such as Wauwatosa and New Berlin, have created rebates as a way of complying with the collection of the fee without penalizing prospective new businesses.

Waukesha and Muskego are considering similar ordinances. A Sussex Village Board committee is expected to discuss the law tonight

 

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