Vargas: House Passes Restaurant Relief Bill, Easing Local Permitting and Capping Delivery Fees

State Rep. Andy X. Vargas. (Courtesy photograph.)

Coinciding with this week’s partial lifting of restrictions on restaurants, the state House of Representatives last week approved a restaurant relief bill.

Rep. Andy Vargas, a guest Friday on WHAV’s morning program, says one aspect of the bill delays payment of the states’ meals tax for the third and fourth quarters, extending action that was taken earlier this year. Vargas says the bill also reins in possible abuses.

“The one that I’m really excited about is putting a cap on delivery platforms like Grubhub and DoorDash. Recently, I’ve seen online people sharing about how Grub Hub and Doordash are taking all these fees, and all this money away from local restaurants and making their margins very thin. There’s a 15% cap on that,” he explains.

Vargas says the legislation provides the necessary language allowing cities and towns to temporarily modify restaurant licenses to allow for outdoor dining by speeding up the permitting process and making it as easy as possible for restaurants to be able to bound back, and serve more customers…perhaps with an adult beverage

“And then lastly, restaurants may also sell mixed drinks in a sealed container for takeout or deliver, under this bill. The bill passed the house, we have to get it through the Senate, and then to the governor’s desk, but we’re optimistic about it,” Vargas adds.

Vargas is hopeful the legislation will be signed into law this week.

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