Matawan Considers Raising Price of Liquor Licenses
Prices haven't been increased in at least five years, mayor says
Restaurants and bars in Matawan may soon find themselves paying a higher fee each January to renew their liquor licenses.
The Matawan Borough Council recently introduced an ordinance that would increase the price of a liquor license by 20%.
"The liquor consumption license hasn't been increased in at least five years and by state statute any municipality is permitted to increase consumption and distribution liquor licenses," Mayor Paul Buccellato said.
Currently, restaurants, bars and reception centers in the borough like La Riviera, Cafe 34 and St. Clement Reception Center, require a plenary retail consumption license which costs $1,244.16. If the ordinance passes, the license would increase just under $250 to $1,492.99.
Liquor stores, like 79 Liquors or Jonathon Ron Liquors, require a plenary retail distribution license. That license currently costs $746.40 and would increase just under $150 to $895.68.
The council compared their fee to that of surrounding municipalities. Even with the increase, the cost of the license would remain less than Aberdeen, Holmdel and Middletown. In Aberdeen, it costs $1,787.84 for a consumption license and $1,020.65 for a distribution license.
The cost of the license covers administrative duties associated with it, Buccellato said.
According to a municipal ordinance in Matawan, liquor licenses expire on Dec. 31 of each year and an application for renewal must be made by Dec. 1. To transfer a license from place-to-place, like the old Charlie Brown's did, a fee of $5 is charged.
Buccellato said there are currently no available licenses in the borough. The amount of licenses per municipality is determined based on population, according to the NJ Division of Acoholic Beverage Control.
A public hearing will be held on the ordinance at the council's April 19 regular action meeting.