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Butte tavern owners ask for break in liquor fees

Posted at 11:08 AM, Jun 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-20 13:08:24-04

BUTTE – The Butte-Silver Bow Tavern Association is asking the city to give them a break on its yearly liquor fee.

“We’re not afraid to pay the taxes, we’re not afraid to pay our fair share, we’re already been great supporters of the community,” said Jack Fisher, who is a member of the executive board of the Montana Tavern Association.

The president of the Tavern Association is asking the council of commissioners to consider lowering the fee from $400 to $200. Along with their business license, an $800 fee to the state, it’s difficult for the almost 70 members in Butte’s tavern industry.

“It’s just a tough racket,” said Fisher. “The state takes 15 percent of our revenue off the gambling machines, those that are fortunate enough to have them.”

Fisher is also asking the council to use a portion of the new fee to help fund the program that gives patrons a free cab ride home if they’ve had too much to drink.

“That way everybody in the county would be paying it,” said Fisher. “If we have a customer we feel has had too much or he wants a ride home, he just asks the bartender for a ticket, the cab company comes and gets him.”

The tavern association would like to see some of this fee dedicated to a grant that would go to help Butte’s summer festivals because whatever helps the festivals, helps Butte’s economy.

“We’ve always been big supporters of any festival that comes to town, the bars are doing it, the restaurants are doing it, the hotels,” said Fisher. “It’s good for Butte.”

The request is being considered at Wednesday’s Council of Commissioners meeting in Butte.