PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. — The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to delay a planned fee increase to help restaurants, and to provide a credit to businesses that have paid the higher permit fee.
The Board of Supervisors adopted the planned fee in 2016 to recover costs acquired by the Pima County Health Department’s Consumer Health and Food Safety division, which conducts safety inspections, and recently has been assigned to manage the supes proclamations increasing safety protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to a news release from Pima County.
Fees were expected 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.
“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.”