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Arena Bev. Corp. v. Pa. Liquor Control Bd.

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

July 30, 2014

Arena Beverage Corp.
v.
Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Appellant

Submitted: March 14, 2014.

Page 445

Appealed from No. SA 13-0594. Common Pleas Court of the County of Allegheny. O'Reilly, J.

Michael J. Plank, Assistant Counsel, Harrisburg, for Appellant.

Charles L. Caputo, Pittsburgh, for Appellee.

BEFORE: HONORABLE RENÉ E COHN JUBELIRER, Judge, HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge, HONORABLE ANNE E. COVEY, Judge. OPINION BY JUDGE COVEY.

OPINION

Page 446

ANNE E. COVEY, Judge

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board) appeals from the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court's (trial court) October 8, 2013 order granting Arena Beverage Corporation's (Licensee) appeal nunc pro tunc and requiring the Board to renew Licensee's Restaurant Liquor License No. R-18325 (License). The sole issue for this Court's review is whether the trial court erred as a matter of law or abused its discretion when it granted Licensee's nunc pro tunc appeal. Upon review, we reverse.

Licensee holds the License for the premises located at 330 Hookstown Grade Road, Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Licensee filed an application to renew the License for the licensing term beginning June 1, 2011 and ending May 31, 2013. By letter dated September 13, 2012 (Objection Letter), the Board's Bureau of Licensing (Licensing) notified Licensee that it objected to the License renewal based on the following objections:

[a)] The applicant has failed to verify and the Department of Revenue [(Revenue)] has not informed the Board that all State taxes have been filed and all State taxes have been paid, timely appealed or approved for deferred payment as required by Section 477 of the Liquor Code,[1] as amended effective July 1, 1987, for the licensing periods effective June 1, 2010 and June 1, 2011.
[b)] The validation application for the licensing period effective June 1, 2010 was filed on September 29, 2010, whereas it should have been filed on or before April 2, 2010.[2]
[c)] The renewal application for the licensing period effective June 1, 2011 was filed on June 4, 2012, whereas it should have been filed on or before April 4, 2011.
[d)] The applicant has failed to submit the validation application for the licensing period effective June 1, 2012 as required by Section 3.3 of Title 40, Pennsylvania Code.

Page 447

[e)] The applicant has failed to submit the Notice of Waiver in Lieu of Board Hearing/Statement, form PLCB-1136[.]

Reproduced Record (R.R.) at 18a. The Objection Letter further stated:

The [Board] HAS NO AUTHORITY to remedy any dispute over a failure to issue a tax clearance by either the [Revenue], or the Department of Labor and Industry [(L& I)], or both. This is a matter strictly between you, the licensee, and the taxing authority. Do not assume that payment of all taxes constitutes clearance. Renewal of your ...

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