Santa Cruz County restaurant alcohol fee delayed

Government Affairs

For the 3rd time, the County of Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors has postponed the drastic fee proposal on restaurants to fund the proposed Alcohol Nuisance Abatement Program.


The proposal has been a priority of Supervisor Leopold and, at its worst, would impose a fee of $2,500 per restaurant.

Last fall, the County Board of Supervisors approved a local ordinance that would force a fee onto those that sell and serve alcohol, require employees that sell or serve alcohol to complete a local responsible beverage training course and to pay an annual fee of up to $2,500 to do so.

The CRA has been asking for statistics on law enforcement calls for service to restaurants for alcohol-related issues for months, urging the Board of Supervisors to make sure the fee structure is based on actual problem spots and data and to protect restaurants that have safe and compliant practices and history.

Just recently, the County of Santa Cruz pushed their discussion of the fee structure for this ordinance back another month. The CRA is hopeful that this delay will ensure that local elected officials in Santa Cruz County are doing their research and are carefully considering the impact of this proposal on the local restaurant community.

Local restaurants joined with the CRA in voicing their concerns to the Board of Supervisors over this unjustified (to date) fee imposition which underscores the value of engaging with local governments to advocate for data driven policies.

The next public hearing date is currently scheduled for February 27th, 2018 and the CRA will remain engaged on this issue as it continues to move forward into the implementation stage.