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Cheaper Booze Prices in Connecticut Are on the Table This Year

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has proposed legislation to eliminate minimum package store pricing standards that make liquor sales more expensive in this state.

Last year the governor took on Sunday liquor store sales. This year he's set his sights on lowering the price of alcohol at those stores.

Among the legislative proposals Gov. Dannel P. Malloy submitted this week is one to eliminate the state's alcohol pricing laws for Connecticut liquor stores, which set minimum prices that increase the retail costs of that bottle of wine or cognac by as much as $9 in some cases, the Journal Inquirer reports.

The state's law banning package store owners from setting prices below those established by their wholesalers is intended to protect smaller stores from the bulk-buying capabilities of large retailers. But the law also hurts consumers and the state because Connecticut residents either buy less alcohol or they go to the border states of New York, Rhode Island or Massachusetts, where booze prices are lower, the newspaper reports.

Getting rid of minimum pricing standards could bring another $1.5 million annually in sales tax revenues into state coffers because of increased sales in Connecticut, the JI reports. Smaller retailers, however, are likely to oppose the change because of concerns that large retailers could set prices too low for them to compete.

Peter Dinella February 12, 2013 at 03:00 PM
We had this minimum pricing law in New Jersey for years, and it was eventually eliminated. The results: lower prices, fewer small liquor stores, and new very very big liquor stores. In Granby, I can see at least 2 liquor stores closing because of this change.
Paul Connery February 12, 2013 at 04:33 PM
$1.5 million in estimated tax revenue vs. the closing of many small stores in our state, higher unemployment and reduced sales tax revenue from those closed stores. Is that a good trade-off?
Steve February 12, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Price minimums hurt consumers and protect special interests. Small liquor stores will survive but will need to compete more on service, selection and expertise rather than price alone.
Peter Dinella February 12, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Some small liquor stores may survive, but they will not prosper. Large stores have much greater selection at much lower costs. Service and expertise is a myth. As far as I am personally concerned, I'd like to see the continuation of the status quo, but it's not going to happen. I've seen this all before in real-time, no theory.
Wyatt February 12, 2013 at 06:08 PM
Great idea. It is about time to scrap these big government price controls.
Jon February 12, 2013 at 09:12 PM
Actually the small liquor stores in Granby would actually be able to compete with their neighbors over the border in MA
Jack R. February 12, 2013 at 09:23 PM
If you're in favor of less government intruding in your life, this is a welcome change. Small liquor stores competing again larger ones is no different than smaller convenient stores competing again supermarkets.
Granby February 12, 2013 at 09:24 PM
I buy wine mostly and actually the prices in Granby are pretty good for wine (particularly one store). The prices in MA are a lot higher for the same wine so I usually just buy in Granby.
Canton citizen February 12, 2013 at 11:41 PM
Ct currently enjoys the same low price on case 1 that other states must purchase 10 before their wholesaler can reduce that price to flow down to the consumer
Cryptoclearance February 13, 2013 at 05:26 PM
In some otheer states , beer, wine and liquor is sold in grocery stores and convenience stores. And at COSTCO. 7 days a week. NONE of the gas stations/convenience stores or little bodegas/ check cashing places lose business. SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. wake up CT folks and enter the 21st century. Most other states already have.

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