March 17, 2004 07:00 PM
WASHINGTON, March 18, 2004 – Distilled Spirits Council President Peter Cressy, presenting at the American Beverage Licensees Convention in Las Vegas last week, kicked-off a new grassroots campaign, www.stophospitalitytaxes.com, to generate broad-based opposition to hospitality taxes. “Beverage alcohol is a major component of the hospitality industry. When beverage alcohol taxes are increased, it creates a devastating ripple effect on jobs throughout the entire hospitality industry -- from liquor stores and nightclubs to restaurants and hotels,” said Cressy. “Bringing all these groups together to form one collective voice will help tremendously as we fight the proposals for higher taxes.” Cressy noted that part of the effort involves educating state officials and legislators about the excessive taxes already levied on beverage alcohol as well as their impact on each state’s economy and on jobs. “On the one hand, states spend millions to promote conventions, tourism and hospitality,” he stated. “On the other hand, they penalize the profit center of those industries with job-killing taxes -- this makes no sense.” Cressy stated that the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS), working together with other industry tiers and sectors, was successful in fighting 29 out of 35 state tax proposals in 2003, saving an estimated $1 billion in retail sales. “We know that with a solid broad-based coalition actively joining the fight, we will continue to be successful in protecting our businesses and our employees,” he said. Those interested in joining the Coalition to Stop Hospitality Taxes can register online at www.stophospitalitytaxes.com or through DISCUS’ Web site, www.distilledspirits.org. Once registered, coalition members will be notified about tax threats and other industry-related issues in their respective states. Members also will be contacted to participate in coalition efforts such as meetings with local legislators, sending letters-to-the-editor or signing a petition. CONTACT: Frank Coleman or Lisa Hawkins Telephone: 202-682-8840 SCROLLER Publication Name: Publication Author:


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