Beginning on March 1, tobacco retailers in the city of Newburgh, N.Y. will be required to obtain an additional license if they wish to keep doing business as the city council approved the new requirement at its meeting on Monday night.
The proposal has been in the works since last summer, and in addition to requiring a new license, any new tobacco retailers will have to be at least 1,000 feet from a school. Current retailers will be exempt from the requirement. Passage of an annual inspection to ensure the business meets building and maintenance will also be required to renew the license.
While the start of the new requirement is just a few weeks away, the city has yet to decide on what the fee will be. Retailers are required to have their applications in to the city at least 30 days before the March 1 start date.
Additionally, the city will begin to limit the number of licenses issued, as with the exception of the first year, “the total number of New and Renewed Tobacco Retail Licenses issued by the City Clerk in a given year shall not exceed the number of Tobacco Retail Licenses that were issued in the previous year.”
Beginning on March 1, 2016, the city will only issue one new license for every two that were revoked or not renewed.
Should a retailer be in violation of the new law, they will be subject to a fine of not less than $500.00 for the first violation; not more than $1,000 for a second violation; and not more than $2,000.00 for the third and each subsequent violation within a two-year period or by imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
The city has also considered an increase to the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, though hasn’t been able to get anything passed according to the Times Herald-Record.
Newburgh is located approximately 60 miles north of New York City and has a population of just under 30,000 people.
Update (Jan. 29, 2015) — The city approved fees of $10 to apply and $50 to renew or replace the new tobacco license.