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  • Board of Supervisors Delays Fee Increase to Help Restaurants

    Aug 17, 2020 | Read More News
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    PIMA COUNTY, AUGUST 17, 2020 – To help assist restaurants hard-hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to delay a planned restaurant permit rate increase, and to provide a credit to businesses who have already paid the higher permit fee.

    The planned fee schedule was adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 2016 to fully recover costs incurred by the Pima County Health Department’s Consumer Health and Food Safety (CHFS) division, which conducts restaurant safety inspections, and has been recently tasked with enforcing the Board’s proclamations increasing safety standards to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The higher fees were to be adopted over the course of five years. The Board’s move today delays the final increase.

    “The pandemic was a big blow to many local restaurants. We’ve strived to support our restaurants as they adapt, while keeping the broader community safe,” said Loni Anderson, CHFS Division Director. “We have a strong and vibrant culinary scene, and we want to work with operators to ensure they thrive, and to reduce the spread of COIVD-19.”

    The fees were scheduled to increase by 25 percent this year. The increased costs were partially offset by the Restaurant Incentive Program, which allows restaurants to save up to 25 percent on their permit fees by adopting business practices like donating to a food bank, having a certified food handler on staff, eliminating trans-fats, and posting nutritional information on their menus. This program is not affected by the Board’s vote, and restaurants can still apply for the savings.

    “We know that the vast majority of restaurants have a passion for what they do, and want to do right by their customers,” said Anderson. “The Restaurant Incentive Program, and today’s delay, are designed to benefit restaurant owners, and the whole of Pima County.”