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April 14, 2003

US: NYC considering wine sales in supermarkets

New York State is set to consider proposals to allow wine sales in the state's supermarkets, along with Sunday business hours for liquor sales.

New York State is set to consider proposals to allow wine sales in the state’s supermarkets, along with Sunday business hours for liquor sales.

While both proposals have been made before and not been taken up, observers have suggested there may be more chance of adoption given the state’s US$12 billion budget deficit.

The state’s food store operators are lobbying hard for the change, noting that 36 other states allow supermarkets to sell wines and New York State is the largest wine-producing state which still prohibits it. “One thing (lawmakers) find particularly attractive is that it is a source of revenue with no new taxes,” said James Rogers, the president and chief executive officer of the Food Industry Alliance of New York State.

Those lobbying for the state’s liquor stores to be allowed to open on Sunday are also pushing hard for a change in the law at a time when the state is short of funds. They also point out that other states, 24 in fact, allow liquor stores to open on Sunday and that allowing the change would generate more tax revenue without increasing existing or raising new taxes.

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