Baltimore County officials and liquor license holders have agreed to a compromise that significantly reduces the fee increases that County Executive Kevin Kamenetz proposed last week.
Kamenetz had asked state lawmakers to authorize $891,000 in fee increases to 20 liquor license classes in the county, a hike that Jack Milani, co-chairman of the Licensed Beverage Association's legislative committee, said "."
Milani said Friday morning that Kamenetz and the association had worked out a compromise that lowered the proposed increases by 60 percent, to $350,000.
Many of the fees have not been touched since the General Assembly instituted them in the 1940s and 1950s.
"Our members understand that these fees had not been increased in a long time," Milani said. "We just wanted something that was fair."
County officials confirmed the agreement's framework and stressed that it had not been sent to legislators.
Currently, liquor licenses generate about $700,000 in fees.
Kamenetz asked the legislature last week to in increases to liquor licenses fees and more than $1.2 million in business license fee increases.
Kamenetz said the money was needed to help pay for the county's liquor inspections operations, which he said cost $200,000 more than the county takes in from license fees.
If approved, the new liquor license fees would net the county nearly $1.1 million total, enough to cover those costs.