DISCUS

NY LIQUOR BLUE LAWS MAKE HOLIDAY SHOPPING A BURDEN

December 18, 2002 07:00 PM
WASHINGTON—Thinking of giving a bottle of single malt scotch, flavored vodka or a Finger Lakes wine to a friend this Sunday, but can’t get to the store during the week? Disappointed shoppers can thank New York’s outdated Blue Laws, which prohibit the sale of wine and spirits on Sundays for the inconvenience, says the Distilled Spirits Council. With the holiday shopping season at its peak, proposals to repeal the 1934 Blue law have stalled in Albany. The Council argues that Sunday is the second busiest shopping day of the week. And, with so many dual income families and the potential for millions in additional state tax revenue, there is a strong incentive for lifting the ban. “New York is surrounded by states that allow Sunday sales including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania,” said Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) President Peter Cressy. Studies show that New York loses upwards of $70 million in tax revenue per year to cross border sales—the highest level in the nation. “We shouldn’t allow another holiday season to pass with this costly and archaic inconvenience,” Cressy added. Other supporters, including state licensed retailers, point to neighboring Pennsylvania, which recently voted to allow state package stores to open for business on Sundays. “Every year I hear the same complaints,” said Steve Glamazina, owner of Georgetown Liquor in Williamsville, near Buffalo. “My store wasn’t open when the customer was out shopping on Sunday so they couldn’t get what they needed or they had to cross the border to make their purchase. Pennsylvania just voted to allow Sunday sales and it’s time New York does the same.” Craig Allen proprietor of All-Star Wine and Spirits in Latham Farms, near Albany said, “It isn’t fair to consumers or retailers to prohibit Sunday sales. All of the research says that alcohol is alcohol so why can you buy beer on Sundays, but you can’t get a bottle of wine or spirits? Who does this serve?” New York State’s multi-billion dollar budget shortfall further supports the case for Sunday Sales. The Council points to recent economic studies showing that Sunday sales will create millions in additional tax revenues and hundreds of new jobs as New York faces a massive revenue crisis. CONTACT: Frank Coleman or Lisa Hawkins Telephone: 202-682-8840 SCROLLER Publication Name: Publication Author:
 

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