• TABC Column: Expedited Processing Fees

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    Rules Regarding Temporary Permits for Special Events
    TABC recently improved its process for expediting applications for temporary events. In early 2018, TABC amended several rules that require payment of expedited processing fees for applications submitted less than 10 days before an event. In 2016, TABC issued a rule requiring applications to be filed at least 10 days before an event.

    But the 2016 rule did not include any enforcement mechanism to encourage compliance – it didn’t have any “teeth.” This had the unfortunate consequence of allowing 45 percent of temporary applications to be submitted within ten days of the event, and sometimes the day before. These late applications disrupted TABC’s licensing processes. A late submission forces a licensing professional to interrupt the current workflow, and scramble to get the temporary application done before the event. In effect, the rule punished applicants who followed the law, and let late applicants move to the front of the line.

    In response, TABC amended the relevant rules to require a surcharge for applicants not meeting the required timeline. The amount of the expedited fee depends on the date of submission -- $300 for ten to eight days in advance, $600 for seven to five, and $900 for three to one. The amendments went into effect April 16, 2018.  Within a month, the number of late applications decreased by 30 percent.

    We appreciate the feedback we have received from industry organizations, as well as their efforts to notify their members of the rule changes. This Licensing Bulletin on the TABC website outlines the details.  I understand that there are situations in which permit holders, through no fault of their own, are not aware of a special event until less than ten days from its start. We want to hear from you about any solutions you believe could accommodate those circumstances while letting TABC ensure a consistent, predictable, and timely licensing and permitting process.

    A. Bentley Nettles was appointed TABC Executive Director in 2017. He previously worked as an attorney and served with distinction as a brigadier general for the Texas Army National Guard.
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