A Tobacco Retail Licensing (TRL) program sets local business standards for tobacco retailers. When run effectively, TRL programs can help reduce youth access to commercial tobacco products, limit the public health and equity impacts associated with commercial tobacco use, and provide a mechanism to enforce standards across a jurisdiction. In order to ensure that a TRL program runs smoothly, effectively, and efficiently, it needs to be funded adequately through licensing fees. Although the fees should be set no higher than the amount that is necessary to run an effective program, running an effective program requires staff time, oversight, recordkeeping, and other elements that can sometimes be difficult to track.
The Public Health Law Center developed this TRL license fee calculator tool to help jurisdictions figure out how much they need to charge retailers to cover the costs of running a good TRL program. Please review the Public Health Law Center’s Model TRL Ordinance for a comprehensive set of TRL best practices.
How to use the Calculator
The calculator is set up so that jurisdictions can plug numbers into either the “detailed” left-hand column, or the “simplified” right-hand column. The “detailed” column breaks down each staffing activity that goes into operating a TRL program. The “simplified” right-hand column may be more useful for jurisdictions that devote a certain, pre-determined dollar amount to staffing time. Although not every one of the activities listed in the “detailed” column will be part of an individual jurisdiction’s TRL program, the calculator provides examples of the types of activities that may go into supporting each element of a successful program.
The calculator below is an embedded excel spreadsheet, so users can enter numbers directly into the spreadsheet. Users do not have to enter values into every column in order to obtain a sum at the bottom of the spreadsheet. A user can also download an excel version of the spreadsheet at the bottom of this page.
We hope this tool is useful to your jurisdiction as you begin to develop and implement your TRL program. Please reach out to the Public Health Law Center with questions, comments, or feedback about the TRL calculator. We welcome your input as we continue to improve this tool!