Portland, OR — Annual fees for Oregon Liquor Control Commission liquor licenses are set to increase this fall. With action approved in the 2019 legislative session, the fees for 19 common license types – affecting stores, bars, restaurants, breweries and wineries – will double. The increase will put Oregon’s fees more in line with national averages for liquor license fees and will more closely reflect the true cost of license administration.
The annual fees for OLCC liquor licenses were first set back in 1949, remaining largely unchanged since. And while some things improve with age – like a fine wine or even a great whiskey – the fees for annual licenses did not adjust as costs increased over the years.
OLCC has over 18,000 liquor-licensees throughout the state, a number that has an average annual growth rate of over 450 new licensees per year for the last ten years. This steady annual growth in the number of licensees means that with each new license or renewal, there are additional costs in processing, inspection and enforcement.
“The fee doesn’t adjust to match inflation, and as such, didn’t cover the cost of the work being performed,” said Steve Marks, OLCC Director. “We appreciate the action of the legislature in the passage of Senate Bill 248 which authorized the fee increase. We are now able to true-up our fees to be more in line with actual costs, while bringing us in line or below other states.”
The effective date of the increase is October 1 for all new or renewing licensees. Some licensees will start seeing the fee increase in license renewal packets mailed this month for October renewals.
The annual fee for a Full On-Premises Commercial License type, common for restaurants and bars, is currently $400, and will increase to $800 after doubling. A Brewery Public House License and a Winery license, both currently at $250, will move to $500 after doubling. These increases place Oregon roughly in the middle to low end of liquor license fees nationally for these license types.
It’s estimated that the license fee increase will raise $9.2 million for 2019-21 biennium. The additional revenue will go to support OLCC operations and compliance activities.