Mayor Adams backs Brannan/Powers bill suspending city liquor license tax

Council Member Justin Brannon (D – Brooklyn).
Photo courtesy of William Alatriste/NYC Council Media Unit

He’ll drink to that!

Mayor Eric Adams said he’ll support City Council bill that’ll be introduced by Council Members Justin Brannan (D – Brooklyn) and Keith Powers (D – Manhattan) Thursday that would suspend the city’s liquor license tax.

Suspending this the tax on liquor licenses will be a way to provide bars, restaurants and entertainment venues some financial relief as they try to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Adams said in a release.

“Suspending the local tax these businesses currently pay on liquor licenses is a simple, common-sense way to put money back into their pockets and help keep their doors open,” Adams said. “This was a key component of my economic blueprint in March, and I am proud to support this legislation sponsored by Councilmembers Powers and Brannan. Under my administration, city government will not be an obstacle for our small business community but an ally that helps small business owners thrive.”

The city’s liquor license tax must be paid by all businesses that sell wine, liquor or beer for consumption on or off premises within New York City, according to the city’s website. It’s 25% of the annual license fee levied on sellers of liquor, beer and wine by the New York State Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.

Brannan said suspending the tax is one way to lessen the financial burden on the city’s small businesses while the Council explores more permanent solutions.

These small business owners have been through the wringer over the past few years, and they need our support,” Brannan said. “Owning and operating a small business during normal times is no easy feat. Taking the health, safety, and well-being of your customers and employees seriously, while doing everything you can to make sure your business survives a global pandemic, basically calls for a miracle. Everyone loves to say ‘small businesses are the backbone of our local economy,’ but talk is cheap. By suspending this tax, we can help lighten their load just a little bit as we explore additional avenues to ensure our small businesses can thrive beyond the pandemic.”