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2009 Alcohol Tax Legislation

In 2009, the Maryland General Assembly passed and the Governor signed the following statewide and local bills related to motor fuel, alcohol, and tobacco tax regulation and enforcement, and state business licenses. 

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

Statewide

Alcoholic Beverage Tax – Assessment and Appeals – Tax Procedures and Penalties

Senate Bill 64 (Chapter 353, Acts of 2009) adds alcoholic beverage tax to the provisions which allow a taxpayer to make an application for revision of a tax assessment and for the Comptroller to hold an informal hearing concerning such an appeal. The bill also gives the Comptroller authority to decrease or abate an erroneous assessment for alcoholic beverage tax. Currently, the authority of the Comptroller to conduct hearings related to the alcoholic beverage tax is in Article 2B.  This authority should be in the Tax-General Article, Title 13 where all the other taxes collected by the Comptroller are found. Also, this bill increases the penalty for unpaid alcoholic beverage tax from an amount not exceeding 10 percent to an amount not exceeding 25 percent, the same as the penalty for unpaid tobacco tax. The purpose of the increase in penalty amount is to align the alcoholic beverage tax with the tobacco tax, and to secure voluntary compliance. EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2009.

Alcoholic Beverages – Resident Dealer’s Permit

Senate Bill 162 (Chapter 205, Acts of 2009) establishes a new Resident Dealer Permit for alcoholic beverages. A Resident Dealer Permit will be issued for an annual fee of $200 to those persons who do not own a warehouse and sell directly through a licensed Maryland wholesaler. This permit is the counterpart to the nonresident dealer permit, except for the residency requirement of 2 years prior to filing an application.  A Maryland-based importer who acts like a nonresident dealer with respect to Maryland wholesalers may pay the same annual licensure fee as nonresident dealers rather than the more costly wholesaler license fee. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Local

City of Annapolis – Alcoholic Beverages – Administrative Proceedings and Fines

Senate Bill 25 (Chapter 14, Acts of 2009) includes the City of Annapolis as a jurisdiction which does not allow a probation before judgment to bar the Board of License Commissioners from proceeding administratively against a licensee for violation of the prohibition of sales to underage individuals under Article 2B, § 12-108. The bill also increases from $1,000 to $2,000 the fine in lieu of suspension of a license under Article 2B, § 16-507(c)(2).  EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2009.

Caroline County – Alcoholic Beverages – Special Multiple Event Licenses

House Bill 46 (Chapter 365, Acts of 2009) authorizes the Board of License Commissioners in Caroline County to issue a special multiple event license for a calendar year not to exceed 40 days per applicant.  The license shall be issued for one premise only and to the same applicant for all events, unless otherwise approved by the Board. A server certified with alcohol awareness training must be on the premises when alcoholic beverages are served under the license. The license fee is graduated based on the number of events - $1,000 for 40 events per year is the upper limit for the license. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Somerset County – Liquor Control Board – Borrowing Limit     

House Bill 227 (Chapter 382, Acts of 2009) increases the borrowing limit of the Somerset County Liquor Control Board from $50,000 to $150,000. EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2009.

Garrett County – Alcoholic Beverages – Wine and Beer Tasting License – Off-Site Retail Delivery Procedures – Fees

House Bill 334 (Chapter 137, Acts of 2009) authorizes the Board of License Commissioners in Garrett County to charge an issuing fee of $100 for a wine and beer tasting license; charge $10 for a duplicate license; and increase the fee from $20 to $200 for a transfer of license, the latter is comparable to other counties’ transfer fees. The bill also authorizes the Board to issue a delivery option for an annual fee of $150 and an issuing fee of $150 for off-site retail deliveries subject to the underage requirement and age-verification procedures. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Charles County – Alcoholic Beverages Violations - Penalties

House Bill 372 (Chapter 668, Acts of 2009) increases the fine from $1,000 to $2,500 that the Board of License Commissioners in Charles County may impose for a violation of the local alcoholic beverage laws. It also allows the Board to both impose a fine and suspend the license. The fines for violation of the underage law by a licensee are increased for the first offense from $500 to $750, and for an employee from $150 to $500 per offense. EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2009.

Charles County – Alcoholic Beverage Licensees – Administrative Proceedings

House Bill 442 (Chapter 673, Acts of 2009) includes Charles County as a jurisdiction which does not allow a probation before judgment to bar the Board of License Commissioners from proceeding administratively against a licensee for violation of the prohibition of sales to underage individuals under Article 2B, § 12-108. EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2009.

Howard County – Alcoholic Beverages – Hearing Board and Liquor Board Personnel

House Bill 616 (Chapter 146, Acts of 2009) repeals the current provision that the director of the County Department of Inspections, Licenses, and Permits shall provide a single administrator and staff to serve the Hearing Board and Liquor Board, and specifies that the personnel of the Hearing Board and Liquor Board be part of the staff of the County Council and supervised by the County Council Administrator. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Alleghany County – Alcoholic Beverages – Volunteer Company License

House Bill 624 (Chapter 147, Acts of 2009) creates a Class C (Volunteer Company) Beer, Wine and Liquor License that may be issued to a volunteer fire company, a volunteer ambulance company, or a combined volunteer fire and ambulance company authorizes the licensee to keep and sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on or off premises. The annual license fee is $500.  EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2009.

Baltimore County and Howard County - Alcoholic Beverage Licenses – Application Requirements – Citizenship Status

House Bill 731 (Chapter 152, Acts of 2009) adds to the application requirement for a county liquor license in Baltimore County and Howard County that a statement be made whether the applicant is a natural-born citizen or a naturalized citizen; and if neither, the applicant must furnish documentation of alien status. The Board of License Commissioners in both counties may obtain information from the U.S. Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Immigration and Customs to verify the applicant’s citizenship or alien status. The bill also includes Baltimore County and Howard County applicants to state the place of birth and if a naturalized citizen, when and where the applicant was naturalized. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Montgomery County – Winery Special Event Permits  – Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

House Bill 833 (Chapter 156, Acts of 2009) authorizes the Comptroller to issue a winery special event permit to a licensed Class 4 Maryland Limited Winery for use during the entire length of the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2009.

Montgomery County – Kensington – Expansion of Area for Alcoholic Beverages Licenses

House Bill 835 (Chapter 157, Acts of 2009) expands the commercial area in Kensington to which a special B-K beer and wine license or a special B-K beer, wine, and liquor license may be issued for use at a restaurant to include Kensington Parkway and Frederick Avenue, from Montgomery Avenue to Silver Creek. It also eliminates the requirement that these restaurants have a minimum seating capacity of 20 persons. EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2009.

Prince George’s County – Alcoholic Beverages – Wine Festival License

House Bill 962 (Chapter 700, Acts of 2009) authorizes the Prince George’s County Board of License Commissioners to issue one wine festival license each year to a holder of a retail license, a Class 3 winery license, or a Class 4 limited winery license. The licensee may sell wine at the festival for consumption on and off premises. Products sold must be invoiced to the wine festival licensee by a licensed state wholesalers, winery, or limited winery, and delivered to the festival from the licensed premises of the wholesaler, winery, or limited winery. This license is not available in the 24th Legislative District of Prince George’s County. EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2009.

Prince George’s County – Alcoholic Beverages – Public Consumption and Open Containers – Penalties

House Bill 963 (Chapter 432, Acts of 2009) changes the penalties in Prince George’s County for a violation of drinking alcoholic beverages in public places and possession of alcohol in open containers from a fine not exceeding $100 to requiring the person charged with a misdemeanor to appear in court. EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2009.

Prince George's County - Alcoholic Beverages Licenses – Application Requirements

House Bill 964 (Chapter 433, Acts of 2009) permits an applicant for a local liquor license in Prince George’s County to state on the application either that the applicant is a U.S. citizen or in legal status in accordance with federal law, and if the latter, requiring proof of the applicant’s legal status. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Prince George’s County – Alcoholic Beverages – Bottle Clubs

House Bill 969 (Chapter 701, Acts of 2009) prohibits an owner or operator of a bottle club, defined to include a restaurant, hotel, club, room, dance studio, etc., in Prince George’s County from evading the alcoholic beverage license laws, including those governing the hours of operation, and from selling, giving, serving, keeping, or allowing any alcoholic beverage, setups, or other parts of mixed drinks to be consumed in the bottle club.  EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2009.

Prince George’s County – Three-Day Beer, Wine and Liquor License (Emergency Bill)

House Bill 1021 (Chapter 705, Acts of 2009) authorizes the Board of License Commissioners in Prince George’s County to issue a three-day Class C beer, wine and liquor license to a nonprofit organization exempt from taxation under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This license permits the holder to sell beer, wine or liquor at the National Harbor that may be consumed on or off premises. The fee is $150 per day, and may not be issued to any one organization for more than three consecutive days in a calendar year. The licensee must purchase alcohol product from a Maryland licensed wholesaler, who also may donate alcoholic beverages to the licensee. EFFECTIVE MAY 19, 2009.

Prince George’s County – Alcoholic Beverages Licenses – Successor Corporations

House Bill 1037 (Chapter 706, Acts of 2009) authorizes a successor corporation of a merger of two corporations with direct or indirect interests in a restaurant alcoholic beverage license in Prince George’s County during the time period September 1, 2007 through June 1, 2008 to hold the number of licenses held by the two corporations so long as the number of licenses held is eight or less. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

St. Mary’s County – Alcoholic Beverages - Maximum Fine for Sales Violations

House Bill 1271 (Chapter 451, Acts of 2009) increases the fine from $500 to $1,000 in St. Mary’s County for violations of the sale of alcoholic beverages under a license. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Charles County – Alcoholic Beverages – License Suspension

House Bill 1364 (Chapter 721, Acts of 2009) repeals the prohibition in Charles County of suspending a license of four days or less on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Baltimore County – Towson Commercial Revitalization District – Alcoholic Beverages – Transfer and Conversion of Licenses

House Bill 1439 (Chapter 276, Acts of 2009) increases from two to 10 the number of beer, wine and liquor (on-sale) licenses issued on or before December 31, 2008, and in existence in Election District 15 on June 1, 2009, that the Board of License Commissioners in Baltimore County may authorize to transfer into the Towson Commercial Revitalization District (TCRD). The bill also decreases the average daily receipts from the sale of food for a Class B (B,W,L) (TRCD) restaurant license from 70 percent to 65 percent, and also prohibits an off-sale privilege. The bill also specifies other requirements for the Board of Liquor License Commissioners in order to approve the transfer of a Class B or Class D license to a Class B (B,W,L) (TCRD) license. EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2009.

Charles County – Alcoholic Beverage Sales – Proximity to Churches

House Bill 1463 (Chapter 732, Acts of 2009) repeals the prohibition in Charles County of issuing a license within 500 feet of a church or other place or worship. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Frederick County – Multivenue Wine License

House 1512 (Chapter 472, Acts of 2009) authorizes the Board of License Commissioners in Frederick County to issue a one-day multivenue wine (MVW) (on and off sale) license to a nonprofit organization. The MVW licensee may conduct simultaneous wine events at five venues within walking distance of each other, and located in districts that allow wine consumption.  Under regulations adopted by the Board, wine may be sold by the glass for on-premise consumption or by the bottle for off-premise consumption, and the MVW licensee may allow a Class 4 limited winery licensee to conduct a wine tasting. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Worcester County – Liquor Control Board - Borrowing Limit

House Bill 1522 (Chapter 475, Acts of 2009) increases the borrowing limit of the Worcester County Liquor Control Board from $5 million to $6 million. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Anne Arundel County – Alcoholic Beverages Act of 2009

House Bill 1304 (Chapter 716, Acts of 2009) authorizes the Board of License Commissioners to issue a beer and wine (Hotel-Limited Service)(on-sale) license to a person who owns or leases a hotel that contains at least 50 rooms and operates a kitchen licensed as a food service facility. The licensee may sell alcoholic beverages every day at one or more locations within the hotel. The annual license fee is $2,400 for a beer and wine (Hotel-Limited Service) license, and $2,800 for same license for BWL. 

The bill requires the Board of License Commissioner to apply to the central repository for state and national criminal history records checks for each alcoholic beverages license applicant.  This bill also creates a special outdoor license that may be issued to a Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class H licensee permitting that licensee to provide outdoor table service to customers on the licensed premises.  A special outdoor entertainment license may be issued to a Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class H licensee who also holds a special dancing license or a special music license. This special outdoor entertainment license allows the holder to provide entertainment outdoors it is allowed to provide indoors under the dancing or music license, and provide outdoor table service or café service.

This bill authorizes the Board to employ one part-time deputy chief inspector at an annual salary of $8,000 and 18 instead of 19 part-time inspectors.  The salary for the Board’s attorney is increased from $12,000 to $20,000.  Anne Arundel County is added to the jurisdictions which allow the circuit court to remand the case to the local licensing board for further proceedings. The penalty for a violation is changed from $1,000 in lieu of suspension to $2,500 or suspension of the license or both for any violation. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Dorchester County – Alcoholic Beverages Act of 2009

Senate Bill 333 (Chapter 50, Acts of 2009) authorizes the Dorchester County Board of License Commissioners to issue a Class B Caterer’s License to a licensee who holds a Class B restaurant or hotel (on-sale) beer and light wine license or a Class B restaurant or hotel (on-sale) beer, wine, and liquor license.  This license may also be issued to a holder of a caterer’s license issued by the County Health Department. The annual license is $150. The licensee may provide alcoholic beverages at events held off premises covered by the Class B beer and light wine license or Class B beer, wine, and liquor license. Other terms and conditions are included for this new license class.

This bill also authorizes the Board of License Commissioners to issue a beer and wine sampling or tasting (BWST) license to a holder of a Class A license to hold tastings or sampling of beer or wine.  Quantity restrictions apply. The fee for a BWST license is $150 for no more than 15 beer and wine tastings per year or $250 for not more than 30 beer and wine tastings per year.

The prohibition of granting a license to a premise within 300 feet of a church is extended to public and private schools.  The annual compensation for Board Commissioners is increased from $2,000 to $2,500 with the Chair’s compensation similarly increased by $500 to $3,000. In addition to sheriffs, the bill permits summons to be served by the inspector employed by Dorchester County and assigned to the BLC.  EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Talbot County – Alcoholic Beverages – Limited Wineries

House Bill 105 (Chapter 369, Acts of 2009) permits a Class 4 manufacturer licensee in Talbot County to produce wine and pomace brandy at each warehouse where an individual storage permit has been issued. No wine or pomace brandy may be sold at a warehouse to the public. EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2009.

Anne Arundel County – Alcoholic Beverages –Yacht Club License

Senate Bill 434 (Chapter 65, Acts of 2009) changes the requirements for a special Class C (yacht club) license from slips or berths for 75 boats or more to slips, boat parking spaces, or berths for at least 50 boats, and changes the acreage requirement from at least five acres to one acre of ground. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Calvert County – Alcoholic Beverages

House Bill 217 (Chapter 556, Acts of 2009) allows a Maryland Class 4 limited winery in Calvert County to be issued a winery special event permit for unlimited use for one night each week from June through November at North Beach Friday Night Farmers’ Market. The general rule is that a Maryland Class 4 limited winery may not be issued more than 12 winery special event permits per calendar year and no more than 3 events in any political subdivision per year.

This bill increases the annual license fees for a Class D beer license from $100 to $1,000; a Class A beer and light wine license from $150 to $300; a Class A beer, wine and liquor license from $500 to $1,000; and a Class B and Class D beer, wine and liquor license respectively from $1,000 to $1,250 if the place of business remains open until midnight, or $2,250 if the place of business remains open until 2:00 a.m.

This bill authorizes the Board of License Commissioners to issue a special beer, wine and spirits tasting (BWST) license to a holder of a Class A beer and wine license or a Class A beer, wine and liquor license. The BWST licensee may have  tastings 365 days per year for a maximum of three hours of alcoholic beverages allowed under the Class A license at no charge to the consumer subject to quantitative limits.

Salaries for the Chairman of the Board and board members are increased.

This bill adds a penalty for a licensee or employee who violates sales to underage persons. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Baltimore County – Towson Commercial Revitalization District – Alcoholic Beverages – Transfer and Conversion of Licenses

Senate Bill 543 (Chapter 275, Acts of 2009) increases from two to 10 the number of beer, wine and liquor (on-sale) licenses issued before December 31, 2008 and in existence in Election District 15 of Baltimore County on June 1, 2009, that may be transferred into the Towson Commercial Revitalization District as defined by the Baltimore County Council. The bill changes the average daily receipts requirement from 70 percent to 65 percent for a restaurant

under the Class B (B,W, L) (TCRD) license, and also provides that the Board shall deny the transfer of a Class B or Class D license and the issuance of a Class B (B,W,L) (TCRD) license if within two years immediately preceding the application the applicant was a holder of an on-sale license within the boundaries of the TCRD. A Class B (B, W, L) (TCRD) license may not be transferred from the TCRD into any other class of license.  EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2009.

Frederick County – Alcoholic Beverages – Part-Time Inspectors

Senate Bill 608 (Chapter 83, Acts of 2009) authorizes the Board of License Commissioners in Frederick County to appoint not more than two part-time alcoholic beverages inspectors specifying the qualifications for the position, duties, and compensation. EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2009.

Frederick County – Alcoholic Beverages – Wine Festival License

House Bill 721 (Chapter 151, Acts of 2009) authorizes the Board of License Commissioners in Frederick County to issue a special wine festival (WF) license to a holder of an existing retail license, a Class 3 winery license, or a Class 4 limited winery license. The WF licensee may display and sell at retail wine for consumption on or off premises on the days and hours designated for the Frederick County Wine Festival. The fee is $20. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Baltimore City – Alcoholic Beverages – Beer, Wine, and Liquor Tasting License

Senate Bill 983 (Chapter 342, Acts of 2009) authorizes the Board of Liquor License Commissioners in Baltimore City to issue a Class BWLT beer, wine, and liquor (on-premises) tasting license to a holder of a Class A beer, wine and liquor license in certain precincts of the 41st, 43rd and 44th Legislative Districts. The fee is $20 for a daily tasting license and $200 for an annual 26-day tasting license. EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2009.

Prince George’s County - Laurel Commons – Alcoholic Beverages – Additional Class B Licenses

Senate Bill 886 and House Bill 1497 (Chapter 325, Acts of 2009) add Laurel Commons to the list of locations where more than one Class B beer, wine, and liquor license may be issued to a restaurant. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009.

Montgomery County – Alcoholic Beverages – Corporate Training Center License

House Bill 821 (Chapter 155, Acts of 2009) authorizes the Montgomery County Board of License Commissioners to issue a special Class B- Corporate Training Center beer, wine and liquor (on-sale) license for use in a corporate headquarters support facility that serves only the workforce, employees, customers, etc. The corporation must employ at least 500 employees in the County, and the sale of alcoholic beverages is for on-premises consumption. The annual license fee is $2,500.  EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2009.

 



 
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