DISCUS

EDITORIAL: Repealing blue laws could work in state’s favor

June 21, 2009 08:00 PM

This year, thanks to a loophole in state law, liquor stores will be allowed to stay open on July 4, because it falls on a Saturday. They don’t have to stay open but, at least this year, it’s their choice.

And the state will reap the benefits, in the form of tax revenue it might not have had if liquor stores were forced to close.

As the Hartford Courant reported Sunday, “The statute allows the stores to open, but the decision is up to each individual store owner whether he or she wishes to open on our national holiday,” according to Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell Jr.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the state could count on tax revenue from liquor stores seven days a week? If blue laws were repealed, some alcohol purveyors might choose to close on Sundays, but then again, some might choose to stay open. And every beer, every bottle of wine, every airplane-sized mini bottle of vodka sold would turn into that much more tax revenue for the state.

Where’s the problem?

Repealing blue laws in Connecticut is one of the no-brainers the state legislature could enact with immediate positive benefit for the state. It would mean a bit of tax relief for cash-strapped residents, it would help a community of businesses, many of them small and family-owned, and would have little to no detrimental effect.

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