Sarlo Joins as Cosponsor of Legislation to Expand Transfer of Liquor Licenses

January 13, 2023, 12:23 pm

Trenton – Senator Paul Sarlo will join as co-sponsor of the legislation introduced by Senator Troy Singleton to establish procedures for the transfer of plenary retail consumption licenses that authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption for use as part of an economic redevelopment plan.

“I applaud the Governor for starting the conversation on liquor license reforms but we should not start by adding more licenses,” said Senator Sarlo. “We have to be sensitive to the fact that adding new licenses will devalue existing ones. We should start by requiring the activation of the 1,000-plus existing, inactive and pocket licenses to be used to create economic development.”

Under the bill, a municipality that is eligible to issue an additional retail consumption license would be authorized to offer the license at public sale to the highest bidding municipality in the state. The funds received from the sale would be transferred to the municipal treasurer for the general use of the host municipality. A license that is not actively used within two years of issuance date would expire.

“We should also consider a provision that will permit the Economic Development Authority to allow for the use of low-interest loans for small family businesses that will invest in licenses in downtown urban areas,” said Senator Sarlo.

The legislation also allows a receiving municipality that has reached the license limitation established under current law to issue a request for proposal to acquire an inactive license from any license holder in the state. The sending municipality may approve the application by resolution. The bill would require the receiving municipality to issue the license for use in connection with an economic redevelopment plan.

The legislation also requires the sending and receiving municipalities to adopt identical resolutions authorizing the transfer of the license. The resolutions would establish the license transfer fee agreed upon by both municipal governing bodies.

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