HARRISBURG – Legislation that would allow for the transfer of state restaurant liquor licenses from a county that is saturated with licenses that aren’t being used to a county where they are needed, sponsored by Rep. Jack Rader (R-Monroe), was passed overwhelmingly by the House of Representatives today. House Bill 1524 will next be considered by the Senate.
“My proposal would help correct the imbalance of restaurant liquor licenses across the Commonwealth,” said Rader. “This bill is good for Monroe County, northeast Pennsylvania and the entire state.”
Specifically, House Bill 1524
would allow the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to transfer up to 75 restaurant liquor licenses that it holds from counties with a surplus of them to counties where they are needed for economic development projects. The applicant would pay a $1 million fee plus $65,000 for each license.
Rader pointed to the significant economic impact the legislation would have in his district, where a major entertainment destination project is underway, but not enough restaurant liquor licenses are currently available. Pocono Springs in Tobyhanna Township is expected to create 6,000 construction jobs and 1,200 permanent positions.
“The success of the Pocono Springs project is dependent on the developer obtaining a number of restaurant liquor licenses,” added Rader. “Why should these licenses sit idle in other counties when they can be put to good use in areas like ours, where they can be great revenue producers for the entire region?”
Rader noted that the licenses can only be used in the Pocono Springs development’s 90-acre designated area and no liquor can be taken off the premises. In addition, these licenses can never be transferred to any other part of the county.
Pocono Springs is expected to attract 5 million visitors annually.
Representative Jack Rader
176th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs