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    Maryland to Collect Soda Fountain Fee

    Foodservice retailers, including convenience stores, will pay once per location, not per dispenser.

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Maryland comptroller's office has revised its interpretation of an old law that establishes a soda fountain license fee, according to an Associated Press report.

    In early March, Comptroller Peter Franchot's office notified circuit court clerks that counties should enforce an annual soda fountain license fee that typically costs $25. That memo said retail establishments would face a fee for each soft drink dispenser they operate.

    But the comptroller's office issued a subsequent memo Friday saying the fee could only be levied once per location.

    Anne Arundel County Delegate Nic Kipke is pushing a repeal of the "archaic" fee, which he says would cost Maryland restaurants $1.5 million annually, according to the report. Restaurant industry lobbyists say food service facility licenses have made the soda fountain fee obsolete.

    CSNews Online's Associate News Editor Mehgan Belanger discusses why c-stores are finding themselves subject to ancient laws in today's Spare Change Blog Post.

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