The Virginia Limousine Association (VLA) scored a victory yesterday when a state senate committee approved an amended bill that allows limousine companies to obtain a permit to collect a fee for wine-tasting as part of their tour packages.
The bill originally was slated for “sight-seeing carriers” (only three in the state) but after the VLA and The Virginia Motorcoach Association protested, the bill eventually was amended to grant authority to “contract passenger carriers” to apply for a permit to including the cost of a winery’s tasting fee in a package tour.
“We wanted to make sure we were included in the bill,” said VLA President Glenn Stafford Jr. (Stafford Limousine dba Love Limousine) Love Limo. “The bill passed the committee yesterday and should easily pass the full senate next week and then the governor will sign the bill,” he added.
Stafford said the bill only allows operators to apply to the state’s authority on all things alcohol related in the state, the department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), for a permit that allows any operator to collect a fee for wine tasting. “It’s up to the operators and the wineries to work out the remittance procedure for the fee,” explained Stafford. “We just wanted to make sure we were included in the bill so we were not shut out,” he said.
—By Tom Halligan, East Coast Editor