Gov. Cooper Extends Legislation That Allows Bar Owners To Defer ABC Permit Fees

RALEIGH, N.C. — Governor Roy Cooper says a new piece of legislation he signed on Thursday will help struggling bar owners by allowing them to defer ABC permit fees until they can reopen at full capacity.

Governor Cooper says House Bill 4 clarifies an existing emergency relief law, passed in 2020, that allows bar owners to defer their permit fees up to 90 days after they are able to operate at full capacity.

“I’m grateful to see this legislation signed into law,” said Chairman Tim Moffitt. “House Bill 4 will give private bars and small business owners reprieve until they are back at full capacity. The House ABC Committee will continue to advocate for NC businesses and plans to file additional relief legislation to help even more restaurants, bars, and businesses across the state recover from the COVID pandemic.”

Officials say House Bill 4 was filed on January 27th by Representative Moffitt (R-Henderson) along with primary sponsors Representative John Bell (R-Wayne), Representative Jamie Boles (R-Moore), and Representative Erin Paré (R-Wake) in response to countless bar owners being stripped of their liquor permits because they were unable to pay them.

Governor Cooper signed the bill into law on February 25th, after House Bill 4 passed unanimously through the House and Senate.

“This legislation will provide many struggling businesses a much-deserved continuation of the deferral on their ABC permit fees,” said Representative Jamie Boles. “We know this will not repair all the damage that has been done, but any help we can provide to these bars and restaurants will go a long way in helping our communities recover.”

Officials say the legislation goes into effect immediately adding onto the similar bill passed in 2020.