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Legislative

DISCUS: Growth in Colorado Alcohol Tax Revenue Attributable to Sunday Sales

October 22, 2009


WASHINGTON, DC – Implementing Sunday liquor sales helped Colorado alcohol tax revenues grow 6% over the last year despite the recession, according to state retailers and the Distilled Spirits Council – which noted that the rest of the country saw only a 2% increase in alcohol tax revenue during the same period. 
 
The newly-released data from the State Treasury show that spirits, beer and wine tax revenues generated through package store sales have grown 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, according to an analysis of state data by Distilled Spirits Council Chief Economist David Ozgo.
 
“It’s no coincidence that over the same period alcohol tax revenues rose, Colorado retailers were finally allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays, the second busiest shopping day of the week,” Ozgo said.  “Consumer convenience is more important than ever in today’s economy, and these numbers prove it.” 
 
Jeanne McEvoy, President/CEO of the Colorado Licensed Beverage Association, 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.” 
 
McEvoy explained that since a majority of today’s consumers do most of their shopping on weekends, allowing store owners the opportunity to open Sundays has helped small businesses survive the downturn.  “Sunday sales have allowed us to meet our customers’ demands,” she said.
 
Colorado is one of 36 states that allow Sunday liquor sales.  Fourteen states since 2002 have rolled back Blue Laws that banned Sunday sales in a growing trend of states modernizing laws to serve a 21st-century economy. 
 
Other States Explore Sunday Sales as Alternative to Raising Taxes
Arkansas in March became the latest state to allow Sunday sales, giving local communities the option to vote for themselves on the issue.  More states are expected to allow Sunday alcohol sales in 2010 legislative sessions as a revenue-raising alternative to increasing taxes.


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