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Press Releases - County Council

Council approves $15 Uniform Trader’s License Fee to Provide Financial Relief to Hard-Hit Retail Businesses

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Legislation spearheaded by Councilmember Friedson and Glass will save some local retailers and restaurants hundreds of dollars in annual license fees as they struggle to keep the lights on during the ongoing public health emergency

ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 29, 2020—Today the Council unanimously approved Bill 40-20, Uniform Trader’s License Fee, which will save hard-hit Montgomery County retailers and restaurants hundreds of dollars in annual license fees as they struggle to keep the lights on, retain employees, and continue serving the community safely and responsibly.

Bill 40-20 will have the county select a uniform $15 trader’s license fee for all businesses subject to the fee, such as retailers and restaurants. Trader’s license fees currently range between $15 to $800 annually for any business that has retail inventory and are established based on the value of that inventory. This action, enabled by a 2019 Maryland law sponsored by Senator Benjamin Kramer and Delegate Al Carr, allows county businesses to pay a flat $15 annual fee starting in 2021.

Councilmembers Andrew Friedson and Evan Glass are the lead sponsors of Bill 40-20. Council President Sidney Katz, Councilmember Nancy Navarro, Councilmember Craig Rice, Councilmember Gabe Albornoz and Councilmember Hans Riemer are co-sponsors.

“Establishing a uniform $15 fee is a small way we can help local employers and their employees keep the lights on during this difficult time. We know more hard work is ahead,” Councilmember Friedson said. “Thank you to my colleague Councilmember Glass for his partnership on this change to provide some modest but important relief.”

“Reducing some of the fees that our small businesses pay is just one way we are helping them during this pandemic,” Councilmember Glass said. “This pandemic has forced us to rethink the way Montgomery County government operates by requiring us to modernize and find efficiencies in our policies, procedures and permitting. By reducing the trader’s license fee, we help level the playing field between mom and pop businesses and large national restaurant chains and retailers. I’m proud to have worked with Councilmember Friedson and our colleagues in this effort to modernize our county policies and support our local businesses during a time of crisis.”

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 20-385
Media Contact: Aaron Kraut, 240-777-7962 , Sean Emerson 240-777-7976