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Economic Development Strategy: More Liquor Licenses

The state of New Jersey makes it difficult, and expensive, to obtain liquor licenses. Some say that policy makes economic development much harder than it could be.
October 19, 2018, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Andrew F. Kazmierski

Nicholas Pugliese and Esther Davidowitz report on a political movement to change "New Jersey’s notoriously restrictive laws governing who can sell alcohol."

"Those laws, which date back to the post-Prohibition era, limit municipalities to one liquor license per 3,000 residents. In places where demand is high, licenses can sell for $1 million or more — if they are available at all," according to the article.

Many restaurants in the state allow customers to "Bring Your Own Bottle (BYOB), but many agree that less restrictive liquor license laws would be an economic development win.

The State Legislature has repeatedly come up short in passing laws to loosen liquor license regulations. But, according to the article, "[m]omentum is growing around a proposal from Assemblyman John Burzichelli, D-Gloucester, to let restaurants purchase much cheaper permits to serve alcohol. Existing license holders who suffer losses would be compensated, possibly through state tax credits."

The article also discusses the importance of restaurants and vibrant night life scenes in revitalizing urban neighborhoods. New housing and redevelopment projects would benefit from less restrictive liquor license regulations as well, according to the article.

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Published on Thursday, October 18, 2018 in New Jersey Record
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