Wellington Mayor Andy Foster said the cost of licenses will not change due to the increase in fees, but the level of industry contribution to the cost of licenses will increase.
“We planned to recoup about 71 percent of the cost of alcohol license applications and annual fees, and the rest (29 percent) was subsidized by taxpayers. We agreed that we needed to reduce the amount taxpayers pay for liquor licenses.
“Clearly, COVID has also had an impact on the level of cost recovery over the past year, including fee reductions made by the Council to support the hospitality industry in Wellington. “
President of Pūroro Rangaranga | Social, Cultural and Economic Committee adviser Jill Day said the fees will now allow the Council to meet its goal of recovering 85 percent of the cost of alcohol license applications and annual fees from licensees. . The remaining 15 percent will be recovered from general tariffs.
“The fee increase will only apply to high risk and very high risk licenses. Licenses classified as high risk are licensed locations open after 2 a.m. and non-licensed locations open after 10 p.m.
“Demand and annual fees for high-risk licenses will increase by $ 1,000, while fees for very high-risk licenses will increase by $ 2,000. “
Councilor Day said the move was in line with the intent of the Alcohol Sale and Supply Act 2012, which seeks to ensure that licensing costs are covered by the alcohol industry rather than by taxpayers, who under the previous Liquor Sales Act 1989 subsidized about 50 percent of licensing costs.
During May of this year, Council consulted with the public, including contacting directly the 693 liquor licensees in Wellington, about the bylaw change. A total of 27 submissions were received.
The authors who supported the proposal agreed that users should pay the costs of the Commission’s licensing function. Those opposing the proposal said the fees were too high or the impact of COVID-19 had put additional pressure on the industry.
There will be no fee increase for very low, low and medium risk licensees.