Hartford, CT – The Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) today sent a letter to Governor Rell and Connecticut legislators questioning their continued unwillingness to consider Sunday alcohol sales as a revenue-raiser that could save potentially millions in tough budget cuts.
“The hospitality industry is dismayed at the State Legislature’s reluctance thus far to consider one very positive means to generate revenue—millions of dollars that could help save harsh cuts to other thin budgets,” wrote Jay Hibbard, Council Vice President.
“Right now, $16.7 million in immediate rescissions to 25 different line-items are in the Governor’s budget mitigation proposal. Allowing Sunday sales could reduce rescission cuts by nearly half with additional revenue accruing to the state over a full fiscal year. Policymakers would be irresponsible to cut funding from one single program before first enacting an inevitable revenue-raiser like Sunday alcohol sales.”
A recent economic analysis by the Council showed that Sunday alcohol sales in Connecticut would generate upwards of $8 million in new tax revenues for the state. Connecticut is one of only three states (Georgia and Indiana) that prohibit off-premise package store sales of beer, wine and distilled spirits.
Since 2002, 14 states have passed Sunday alcohol sales. States which allowed Sunday sales between 2002 and 2005 (12 states) showed an average 5-7 percent increase in tax revenues in 2006 with zero negative social impact such as increased drunk driving or underage drinking.
Full text of Distilled Spirits Council letter HERE.