ENOLA – The Pennsylvania State Township Supervisors Association is calling on Governor Tom Wolf and the Pa. Liquor Control Board to restore funding to municipalities that host licensed establishments in the Commonwealth.
In a recent press release, the PLCB announced record sales for 2020-2021 at a time when host municipalities will not receive expected host payments this month. At the governor’s request, the LCB waived the standard license fees for 2021 for the retail licenses most affected by the pandemic.
“While we understand and support the need for relief for these business owners, waiving these fees has impacted host municipalities and eliminated approximately $ 4 million in payments to host municipalities,” said the Executive Director of PSATS, David M. Sanko. “We respectfully call on the governor to champion an effort to replace these canceled payments for affected municipalities and order the LCB to restore local funding.
“Surely in the $ 2.91 billion in windfall revenue of the LCB, there is $ 4 million that could be used to replace these waived fees.”
LCB financial data shows that only $ 1.8 million in license fees was returned to municipalities in 2020-2021, compared to $ 4 million in previous years as the LCB gave up nearly $ 28 million in license fees for 2021 for retail licensees, including restaurants, bars, clubs, food clubs and hotels.
As a result, the host municipalities only received a partial payment in March 2021 and will not receive any payment in September. Payments in local shares will return with a partial payment in March 2022 and are expected to resume to normal levels by September 2022.
“While some of these hospitality payments can be very low, municipalities rely on every penny to provide essential services to their residents,” Sanko said. “If the LCB had record sales, there is no excuse for the Commonwealth to continue withholding payments to municipalities that deserve their fair share of this money as hosts of these licensees.”