Inslee signs bill waiving fees for restaurants, breweries, wineries


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at a press conference, Feb. 25, 2021. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore.  (KOIN) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5272 Sunday, a bill he hopes will ease some financial burdens for restaurants, wineries, breweries, and distilleries. 

The bill waives a one-time annual liquor license fee, and other annual fees, for those establishments for 12 months. 

“This will provide some financial relief while we work to get them back to capacity,” Inslee tweeted. 

The bill temporarily amends several laws so that certain businesses won’t have to pay state licensing fees. 

For example, one of the laws it amends is one requiring distillers to pay $2,000 a year. The Senate Bill says these annual fees are waived during the 12-month period beginning the second month after the bill is signed, so in April. Fees are also waived for licenses that expire during the 12-month waiver period and fees are waived for any license issued during the 12-month period prior to the 12-month waiver period. 

The waiver does not apply to licensees that had their license suspended by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board for health and safety violations of state COVID-19 guidelines or for any businesses who were notified or cited by the Department of Labor and Industries for allowing an employee to work when the business was meant to be shut down. 

The bill requires the board and the Department of Labor and Industries to provide a list of people who are not eligible for the fee waivers because they violated COVID-19 guidelines and state orders. 

The 12-month waivers cover the fees associated with tasting room licenses, winery licenses, brewery licenses, microbrewery licenses, licenses for restaurants to sell beer and wine, tavern and retailer licenses to sell beer and wine, and more. 

To see how Senate Bill amends the previous law, read the complete bill below: 

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