Kentucky county and city look to waive restaurant, bar fees

Published 6:33 am Sunday, December 6, 2020

Kentucky’s Daviess County Fiscal Court and Owensboro City Commission are preparing to waive license fees for restaurants and bars to help ease the burden of the coronavirus pandemic, the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reported.

On Thursday, the Fiscal Court unanimously voted to initiate a relief program for restaurants and bars that pay county occupational and net profits taxes. The program will be funded through the county’s economic development fund and will not exceed $250,000 with eligible businesses able to apply for $5,000 in relief.

“Right now the county attorney is looking into the steps that need to be taken, and we hope that he will come back in the next meeting and give us the go-ahead,” County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said.

Owensboro city manager Nate Pagan said the city is planning to take similar action.

“We are working to get it done before the new year,” he said. “The commission is unanimous in their desire to waive those fees on behalf of restaurants and bars as they continue to struggle.”
Pagan said it will mean forgoing $91,000 that the city would collect in fees. The average savings per business would be in the range of $1,000 to $3,000.

The state has also waived bar and restaurant fees through an order by Gov. Andy Beshear on Nov. 5, while restaurants and bars could still operate at 50% capacity. On Nov. 18, Beshear shut down schools and in-person dining and limited gatherings and occupancies in response to rapidly rising coronavirus case numbers.