State law does not prescribe the particular licensing regulations on alcohol establishments. These are licensed like any other business at the city level. Most cities divide alcohol establishments into a few categories or classes based on the type of service they provide.
Class A is typically for the retail sale of beer for off-premise consumption. Class B is for restaurants that serve beer with food for on-premise consumption. Class C is for a tavern that sells beer for on-premise consumption without food. These are the three most common classes of licenses that cities grant to alcohol businesses and so we limited our analysis to these.
Data for this metric was obtained from city fee schedules for alcohol licenses. The Alcohol Licensing metric is an equal weighting of the individual z-scores for the cost of each type of license in each city. Thus, for each class of license, cities are evaluated in comparison to one another. Z-scores are inverted to reflect positive scores for lower fees and negative scores for higher fees.
For cities that completely prohibit a particular type of establishment and do not grant any licenses there is no fee listed. In theory, because licenses are completely restricted, the correct fee would be infinite. To account for this anomaly, we instead calculated the z-score as the inverse (negative) value of the average cost of a license in that class minus an additional standard deviation (1) as a penalty. Thus, for a city that prohibits all alcohol establishments, as Highland does, the total metric z-score would be as if the city's licensing fees were twice the average fee minus one full standard deviation.
To see a specific city's laws for this metric, click on its name in the right column, then find the = Alcohol Licensing ?> row in the table below the Free Enterprise category.