DISCUS

Time is now for Sunday sales

June 23, 2009 08:00 PM

It's time for Connecticut to stop its silly -- and costly -- ban on Sunday take-out alcohol sales.
When the Puritans settled in New Haven in 1638, it's understandable they were prone to rules that would protect the sanctity of the Sabbath and the morals of the citizenry.

There weren't package stores at the time, of course, but as the so-called Blue Laws -- those designed to preserve Puritanism -- progressed over the centuries, the net result was no Sunday purchases of alcohol in containers, beer or liquor.

Most of the Blue Laws laws are gone. But they're not that long gone.

Until the 1970s, for instance, most businesses were banned from operating in the state on Sunday.

Times, obviously, have changed.

Estimates on how much extra tax revenue Sunday alcohol sales could generate range from the minuscule -- package store owners, who generally oppose Sunday operation, estimate only some $230,000 in new revenue -- to the monumental -- avid supporters say the additional revenue could be $15 million to $20 million.

The co-chairman of the tax-writing committee that would be likely to bring the measure up in the current special session, says the extra income could be between $2 million and $4 million.

Connecticut residents, such as those from Stamford and Greenwich, within easy travel distance of the state's New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island borders can go into another state on Sunday and spend their money there. And those states get the revenue dollars.

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CONTACT: Telephone: SCROLLER Publication Name: Stamford Advocate (CT) Publication Author: Editorial
 

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