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March 10, 2001

TALLAHASSEE — Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) congratulates the Legislature for its decision to repeal the excessive fee on the transfer of quota-liquor licenses.

The fee, enacted last year, required alcoholic-beverage license holders to pay a fee that amounted to 50 times the annual license fee to transfer any license issued after October 1, 2000. The fee would have to be paid every time the license was sold or transferred. Passage of HB 1471 returned the law to its earlier format, which levied a transfer fee of 15 times the annual license fee that only applied to transfers or sales that took place within three years of issuance of the license.

"Receiving a quota-liquor license confers a property right on the owner," said Jon L. Shebel, AIF President and CEO, "and HB 1471 restores the value to that property. Any profit a license holder realizes from the sale or transfer of the license is determined by the market. The ability to enjoy an increase in property value should not be punished by government."

"This unfair burden was removed thanks to the efforts of AIF," said James A. Greer, president and CEO of Beverage Law Consultants, Inc., and chairman of AIF’s Hospitality Committee. "Restaurant and lounge owners are important cogs in Florida’s economic machine and I applaud the AIF team of lobbyists for their service to these hardworking business people."

Also instrumental in repealing the higher fee was Gary Rutledge, an attorney with the Tallahassee law firm of Rutledge, Ecenia, Underwood, Purnell & Hoffmann PA.

Associated Industries of Florida is a statewide employers association representing 10,000 businesses that range from large multinational corporations to small family-owned enterprises. AIF is commonly known as "The Voice of Florida Business."