–DISCUS Chief Economist Defends Accuracy of CO Sunday Sales Analysis–

AUSTIN, TX – Distilled Spirits Council Chief Economist David Ozgo today blasted the Texas Package Stores Association’s (TPSA) challenge to a DISCUS analysis that Sunday sales boosted Colorado alcohol tax revenues, pointing to a major math blunder in their calculations.

“The TPSA should get a new economist,” said Ozgo.  “Purposefully or not, TPSA looked at a single month of liquor sales in July 2008 and compared it to a different single month – August 2009 – and subtracted the difference.  They conveniently failed to take into account the effect from a full year of sales.”

Ozgo added, the full year analysis clearly shows an increase in liquor tax revenue from $21.6 million to $22.9 million.  “Claiming revenue fell by 26 percent constitutes an 8th grade math error,” he said.

Data from Colorado’s State Treasury show spirits, beer and wine tax revenues generated through package store sales grew from $34,317,486 to $36,374,344 (6%) in the 12 months since the implementation of Sunday sales (July 1, 2008-June 30, 2009).  Average national alcohol excise tax collections during the same period hovered around two percent.  Ozgo noted that restaurant sales over the same period were down and that the only major difference in Colorado was the implementation of Sunday alcohol sales.

Jeanne McEvoy, President/CEO of the Colorado Licensed Beverage Association representing liquor stores across the state, said that despite the tough economy liquor store sales have been resilient and Sunday sales have been key to that success:  “Even in terrible economic conditions, Sunday alcohol sales have turned out to be a huge success for both retailers and the state treasury,” she said.

“TPSA’s left-field response to Colorado’s successful Sunday sales implementation is another manifestation of their unwillingness to modernize the Texas market in order to serve consumer interest instead of their own,” Ozgo said.  “TPSA’s obvious agenda is to thwart competition and maintain the status quo.  Sadly, this leaves the sprits sector underperforming by as much as $435 million in annual retail sales and denies the consumer the service and convenience they deserve.”

Texas Retailers ALSO Support Sunday Sales

David Hernandez, owner of Holiday Wine and Liquor in McAllen along the Mexico border, and a member of the South Texas Independent Package Stores (STIPS), questioned TPSA’s motives and reiterated that Sunday liquor sales would give him the ability to compete against Mexican retail stores that aren’t required to close on Sunday.

“The TPSA has only the interests of a few of its members in mind with regard to Sunday sales,” Hernandez said.  “TPSA doesn’t represent me, nor dozens of other liquor stores along the Mexico border who need the opportunity to open on Sundays.  Border businesses like mine cannot compete with our doors shut.  Sunday openings give us a fair chance to compete for the local and tourist dollars that are on the Texas border.  Every opportunity to compete helps us to survive in this economy.”

NOTE: Duty free stores on Texas soil are already open on Sundays for distilled spirits sales.

Link to CO Department of Revenue Numbers HERE