New York Budget Reflects Success of Sunday Alcohol Sales

Washington, DC – New York spirits retailers today commended Governor Spitzer for including in his budget proposal a provision to permanently extend Sunday spirits sales—a move the Distilled Spirits Council calls a win-win for the state, small businesses and New York consumers.

“This is great news for the State and the consumer,” said Steve Glamuzina, owner of Georgetown Wine and Spirits in Buffalo. “Sunday sales has been an outstanding success. This will ease the concerns of many package stores around New York who, though grudgingly at first, have come to see the real economic benefit to opening on Sundays.”

According to a recent economic analysis by the Distilled Spirits Council, New York gained $92.3 million in new retailer revenue from Sunday sales in 2006 alone.  That translated into an additional $14.2 million in new tax revenue for the state and New York City that would not have otherwise existed.

Governor Spitzer’s budget updates current New York law allowing seven day sales, which is set to sunset on May 15, 2008, and includes a revenue clause permanently extending the seven day alcohol license sales law.  The budget must now be approved by the State Legislature by April 1. It would take effect immediately upon passage.

In 2003, the State Legislature increased the number of days that a retail liquor store could open from Monday through Friday to any six days in a week.  The Legislature subsequently increased the number of days per week from six to seven in 2004.

Thirty-four states across the country allow Sunday spirits sales.  Since 2002, 12 states—including New York’s neighbors Pennsylvania and Massachusetts—have modernized their liquor laws by passing legislation allowing Sunday sales.

“In this struggling economy it is important for government to provide small businesses with the tools to succeed—making Sunday sales permanent does exactly that,” said Council Vice President Jay Hibbard.  “We applaud the Governor and his budget writers for recognizing the tremendous success Sunday sales has been in New York, and urge the Legislature to permanently adopt seven day sales as both an added convenience to consumers and added revenue for the State.”

Hibbard noted that the majority of today’s modern households are comprised of dual-income workers that want the flexibility to shop on Sunday, now the second busiest shopping day of the week.