Atlanta's plan to raise liquor license fees on restaurants falls flat in city hall


Restaurant and bar owners say the hospitality service industry is already Atlanta's biggest money maker, and yet the city wants more fees.

At a public hearing Tuesday afternoon, they asked how much the city needs and what they need it for, but the mayor's representative was not prepared to answer those questions.

Early figures in the plan, which were later identified as misprinted information, quoted increases by as much as 200 percent for annual liquor license fees. In real numbers, that's a jump from $5,000 to $15,000 per year, per restaurant.

According to some smaller business owners, that's enough to put them close to the red.

The crowd heckled the mayor's office representative throughout a hearing on the subject. They continued to hassle her, even as she tried to say there was a mistake in the documents, and the city doesn't actually want to raise fees by triple their amount

It was never made clear exactly what the correct figure is supposed to be, but council members say the city still has a lot of explaining to do before they can even start to think about this.

The mayor's office says that it has looked at fees in other cities in an effort to be comparable. Council members say that any discussion on the matter will need to be done quickly as the deadline for making a decision is coming up in December.

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