June 18, 2002 08:00 PM
June 19, 2002 – The state of New York could generate up to $70 million in new tax revenue and 2,000 new jobs if proposed legislation is passed to allow Sunday sales of wine and liquor at package stores, according to a study released today by the former Director of Tax and Fiscal Studies for the New York State Assembly. Based on the study’s findings, Sunday sales of wine and liquor will increase state tax collections directly related to wine and liquor sales by $36.6 million, a 5.6 percent increase over the $650 million that the state currently collects. Factoring in the boost in added economic activity, total tax collections will rise by an estimated $70 million. “At a time when New York is facing a huge budget shortfall, permitting package stores to open for business on Sunday would provide the state with much needed revenue while also creating jobs and benefiting consumers,” said study author Dr. Charles W. de Seve, President of the American Economics Group, Inc in Washington, D.C., and former Director of Tax and Fiscal Studies for the New York State Assembly. “Sadly, New Yorkers are disadvantaged by Depression-era laws in a 21st century economy,” he added. “The dual income family is the rule today, not the exception. For these time-pressed adults, Sunday has become an important shopping day.” In addition to the increased revenue, the study showed that Sunday sales will result in 2,000 new full and part-time jobs for New York. Under the 1930’s era blue laws, package stores must close on Sunday. However, beer is available for sale on Sundays everywhere it is sold. This prohibition has led to many consumers to drive to New Jersey or New Hampshire to purchase their wine and spirits products on Sunday. Also, in tourist venues, many weekend out-of-state visitors are surprised to find themselves unable to purchase wine and liquor. NY Loses More Liquor Sales To Other States Than Any Other State “New York and New York City have the dubious distinction of losing more liquor sales to other states than any other state in the nation,” said Dr. de Seve. “Opening on Sundays could help liquor stores and New York’s economy by restoring some of that economic activity.” Many state retailers, including the members of the Western New York Package Store Association, support the change in the law and believe they should have the right to decide whether or not to open. “If you can go the grocery store and pick up some beer to watch a Sunday baseball game, you should be able to go to your local package store to buy a bottle of wine for dinner or a bottle of Bourbon for an evening cocktail,” said Albany retailer Craig T. Allen of All Star Wine and Spirits. “Being forced to be closed on Sunday, puts package store owners at a severe competitive disadvantage against businesses that sell beer.” Most recently, Oregon passed a law in February permitting Sunday sales of liquor, making it the 23rd state to permit Sunday sales of liquor. As states across the country struggle to deal with declining state revenues, many legislatures are considering modernizing their Sunday sales laws as an innovative solution to raising revenue without raising taxes. There are currently two bills before the New York legislature to permit the sales of wine and liquor on Sundays. AB 11058, sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Canestrari (D-Albany) and 12 other co-sponsors, and SB 6249, sponsored by Senator Randy Kuhl (R-Bath). The American Economics Group, Inc. specializes in providing economic and fiscal analysis for business, government and the legal profession. Dr. de Seve also formerly served as Deputy Director of the State’s Economic Development Board and has taught economics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Russell Sage College and the State University of New York at Albany. # # # # CONTACT: Lisa Hawkins or Frank Coleman Telephone: (202) 682 - 8840 SCROLLER Publication Name: Publication Author:


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