Lawmakers from the Partido Acción Ciudadana said Tuesday that they have prepared a change in the country’s alcohol law that will make the liquor licenses progressive. Right now, the license fees are the same and fixed by the municipality under the framework of the national law.
The lawmakers said that they were concerned about family operations in rural areas that were facing confiscatory license fees. The lawmakers warned that some businesses might have to lay off workers or even close.
Of course, these are among the same lawmakers who passed the law in the first place.
Not only rural merchants are feeling the weight of the new fees, depending on where the business is located. And in most cases it is the end consumer who actually pays for the fees with higher prices.
“The current license that these small businesses pay, many of them located in the countryside, are excessive because they do not correspond to the volume of sales and that impedes their continued operation,” said Gustavo Arias Navarro, one of the lawmakers.
Basically the new legislation would tie the license fee to sales so that the big multinational chains pay much more, said the lawmaker.
The measure may not be well received in the full legislature. Part of the reason for raising the license fees was to cut down on alcohol use.