DISCUS

Connecticut's Hospitality Industry Hurt by Governor's Alcohol Tax Hike - Sunday Alcohol Sales a Revenue-Raising Alternative

February 8, 2005 07:00 PM
Hartford – The Distilled Spirits Council today urged Governor M. Jodi Rell to consider repealing Connecticut’s Sunday alcohol sales ban as “a revenue-raising alternative” to her proposal to raise hospitality taxes. “A tax on alcohol is a tax on Connecticut’s hospitality industry. Restaurants, hotels, liquor stores and workers who depend on them, will pay the price for this hospitality tax,” said David Wojnar, Vice President of the Distilled Spirits Council. “The consumer and business-friendly solution is to allow Sunday alcohol sales. This approach repeals Connecticut’s Prohibition-era Blue Law while bringing the state as much or more revenue. Further, it gives consumers much greater convenience and stops the flood tide of revenue-draining cross-border sales.” Wojnar pointed out that states that have recently enacted Sunday sales have seen an immediate boost in revenue. Within the past three years, 11 states have passed legislation permitting year-round sales of alcohol on Sunday, bringing the number of states that have rolled back Blue Laws to 32. Connecticut remains the only Northeast state to maintain its Prohibition-era law. The passage of Sunday alcohol sales in Connecticut could generate $13.3 million in new tax revenue, according to a study by Dr. Charles W. de Seve, President of the American Economics Group Inc. and former Director of Tax and Fiscal Studies for the New York State Assembly. Wojnar noted that the tax on distilled spirits products is already at such a high rate that any additional tax will cause responsible consumers to simply buy less or force more of them across state borders to purchase their products at lower prices, accelerating this revenue drain. Since 1985, the distilled spirits industry has been burdened with two federal excise tax increases and a prior 1989 Connecticut tax hike of 50%, making spirits products among the highest taxed consumer products in the state. CONTACT: Public Affairs Department Telephone: 202-682-8840 SCROLLER Publication Name: Publication Author:
 

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