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Friday, June 21, 2024

Albany Should Put Down the Liquor Bills

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The latest bills of discussion in Albany are those that would modify state laws pertaining to the intrastate and interstate commerce of certain alcoholic beverages in New York.


In short, the bills would allow out-of-state, direct-to-consumer shipment of alcohol that would not only circumvent New York’s “three-tier” system of ensuring safe and legitimate products, but also cause the state to lose millions of dollars in tax revenue from the products.


About 20% of liquor sales are constituted by New York State taxes. Federal liquor taxes are paid by the distilleries, while state taxes are paid by the consumers or wholesalers thirty days after they pay for their products.


The legislation would allow for out-of-state distilleries to sell liquor, cider, mead, and braggot directly to New York consumers and businesses. Multiple opponents of the bill, including the Northport-based Retailers Alliance says that collecting state taxes from out-of-state shippers is “difficult, if not impossible.”


We think Albany should put down the bills regarding these changes. Not only are we concerned about product integrity and possible sales to minors, but it would have a large negative impact on the small businesses and liquor stores in Suffolk County and across the state.
Jim Beam, one of the largest distilleries in the world, is lobbying for the legislation, despite not having a distillery in New York.


The big guys are looking to cash in on the pricy New York market if these bills pass, a tough scenario with which small businesses might not be able to compete.


Plus, going to a local liquor store is part of the experience. Getting in-house expertise on best qualities, tastes, mixing capabilities, and just seeing what new products are featured is the reason we take a drive (or Uber) to the stores.


Albany should forego these bills in favor of the small businesses, and for the sake of tax revenue it so desperately needs.
If they don’t, we’ll have what you’re having.

The Editorial Board
The Editorial Boardhttps://www.messengerpapers.com
The Messenger Papers Editorial Board aspires to represent a fair cross section of our Suffolk County readers. We work to present a moderate view on issues facing Long Island families and businesses.