Reducing Alcohol Beverage Licensing Fees in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
The League of Wisconsin Municipalities has received many questions relating to whether municipalities may reduce alcohol beverage licensing fees for the upcoming 2020 licensing renewal period or take other steps to help restaurants and bars hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting “Safer-at-Home” order. Read the memo... April 21, 2020
Can Restaurants Providing Meals for Carry-out and Delivery Sell Alcohol?
The League has received several questions relating to whether alcohol can be delivered by restaurants that are open for take-out or delivery service.
The answer depends on the facts. With very limited exceptions, that are not applicable here, Wisconsin law requires that sales of alcohol take place in face-to-face transactions at the licensed premise. Wis. Stat. §§ 125.01, 125.272, and 125.51(6). A restaurant with a class “B” beer license can sell beer to consumers for off-premise consumption. If the restaurant also has a “class B” liquor license, it can sell wine in original bottles or containers for off-premise consumption. Sec. 12.51(3)(a). If the municipality has an ordinance authorizing it, the restaurant can also sell intoxicating liquor in original packages or containers. Sec. 125.51(3)(b). Again, sales must take place face-to-face at the licensed premise, so a restaurant delivering food cannot deliver alcohol. Restaurants selling alcohol with carry-out food must ensure the sale takes place at the licensed premise so curbside delivery is not allowed unless there is a parking space or other outside area designated as part of the licensed premise.
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) posted a guidance on its website in response to local government questions on property assessment and taxation due to COVID-19. The guidance is based on current law. The department explained in a note to municipal clerks that in light of the difficulties that will be presented during this calendar year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the department is looking into ways to provide greater flexibility to local governments – even identifying changes that require legislative action. March 25, 2020
Read the "Property Assessment and Taxation Information" guidance here.