Business owners hope for ‘fairness’ in vote for alcohol code change

UPDATE: Macon-Bibb Commissioners voted in favor of changing the county’s alcohol code.

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb County Commissioners have an important decision to make and it’s one that will make history.

Commissioners will vote to change the county’s alcohol code for the first time in 20 years on Tuesday night. Some business owners say they’re okay with it but just want it to be fair.

The price for business alcohol licenses in Macon-Bibb may go up.

“Our goal was to bring Macon, Georgia up to the state average,” said District 8 Commissioner Virgil Watkins.

It’s all depending on how commissioners vote Tuesday night.

“We decided to do that over a two year period so you’ll see a 50% increase this year and a 50% increase next year,” Watkins explained.

Changing Macon-Bibb’s alcohol code would make the cost for businesses renewing licenses go from $1,000 to a minimum of $1,700 dollars beginning in 2019 and $2,500 in 2020. The hope is the up-charge will bring the county more revenue.

“We want to see Macon grow. We want to see things happen in Macon. We know that if Macon’s successful, we’re successful.”

Macon Beer Company owners say they’re all for doing their part to help the city and county prosper but just want the increases to be equal.

“We didn’t feel like it was being done fairly across the board, so that was our big concern that we were taking as the production brewery the biggest hit,” Director of Operations Charles McClendon told 41NBC.

They say with the increase coming their way, customers can also expect to pay a slightly higher price.

“People operate on margins and percentages so I think that will probably happen. Businesses will go up on their prices to a lot for that,” he added.

The new code would also include a pro-rated licensing fee. That means people planning to purchase a license mid-year would only pay for the rest of the year as opposed to paying the amount for a full year.

The vote will take place during tonight’s county commission meeting at 7:00 pm inside the Macon-Bibb County Government Center.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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