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Know the Law: Legislative Update, Round Two

Posted on  | October 17, 2012   Bookmark and Share
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Auction Permits, Cabaret Licenses, Wine Licenses

In my last article, I reported that Governor Cuomo had begun to review and sign the bills passed during the latest New York State legislative session. Since then, the Governor signed some additional bills.

Auctions

Retail off-premise licensees, who have held their license for more than ten years, may apply for and receive an auction permit. The number of auctions which the holder of such a permit may conduct in one year has now been increased from 12 to 24.

It is important to remember that there are local laws, not related to the sale of beverage alcohol, which also must be observed. For instance, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs regulates auctions within the city limits. Consequently, in addition to an auction permit from the New York Liquor Authority, a retailer wishing to conduct an auction in New York City must obtain an auctioneer’s license for both the company and its auctioneer from the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA).

Cabaret

The DCA also issues licenses to cabarets. Any room, place, or space in New York City in which patron dancing is permitted in connection with the restaurant business or a business that sells food and/or beverages to the public requires a Cabaret license. The DCA forwards copies of all Cabaret license applications to the applicable community board for review and input.

Wine Licenses

Effective January 1, 2013, the Liquor Authority will extend the term of wine licenses. Consequently, as the licenses come up for renewal, the term of each license will be adjusted. Licenses issued to wineries, farm wineries, special wineries, special farm wineries, wine wholesalers, wine stores, satellite stores and direct interstate shippers will be issued for three years at three times the annual license fee. Licenses authorizing the sale of wine for on premise consumption will be issued for two years at two times the annual fee. New licenses issued after January 1, 2013, will be issued under the longer license schedule. In addition, the Members of the Authority voted to extend suppliers’ permits to three years with a commensurate increase in annual fees.

Expiration Dates

Regardless of the type of license you hold, you should be mindful of its expiration date. The New York Liquor Authority sends license renewal notices. Too often they seem to go awry. Every year I receive a number of frantic calls from retailers whose license will expire within days or hours. The licensee has put his or her livelihood at risk. For on-premise licensees the problem is even worse. The law requires an on-premise licensee to notify the community board or local municipality at least 30 days before the application for renewal is filed. Not only will the failure to give such a notice delay the renewal, it may lead the Authority to bring charges against the applicant. Moreover, the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) allows a licensee whose license application is declined to continue to operate during an appeals process; but only if the application for renewal was filed in a timely manner. You should never go to the liquor authority with a request for relief that you could have had as of right.

Know when your license will expire. If appropriate, notify the community board or municipal government more than 30 days in advance. File your application for renewal on time.


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