Friday, February 3, 2012

Lawmakers Consider Liquor-By-Drink Tax Vs. Licenses

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 9:11 AM

A former Idaho legislator and current lobbyist wants lawmakers to consider changing the way Idaho hotels sell liquor by the glass.

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Roden stood before the Idaho House Local Government Committee Thursday to introduce a bill that could allow more Gem State hotels to charge a liquor-by-the-drink tax rather than secure a full liquor license.

Current rules only allow a select few hotels (75 years or older and listed on the state's historical register) to charge a liquor-by-the-drink local-option tax instead of acquiring a license. Idaho also makes exceptions for equestrian facilities, theme parks, convention centers and golf courses.

Roden's bill would allow municipalities, in particular, resort towns, to grant the local option to hotels with a minimum of 15 rooms and a full-service kitchen.

"Rather than prescribing them in a state law, cities may have their own requirement. They are likely to not be uniform," said Roden. "I'm not claiming that any of my requirements are more perfect, but I'm trying to think it through."

The committee agreed to print the bill and give the measure a full hearing.

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