Wine Can Help Budget Woes

Liz Krueger

March 10, 2010

By Liz Krueger and Keith Wright

As New York State faces another devastating budget deficit, we need new solutions that raise revenue so that we can prevent deeper budget cuts to our schools and healthcare system—without raising taxes.

That’s one reason why we are sponsoring legislation to expand wine sales to grocery stores. New York is one of only a handful of states that give the liquor industry a monopoly on selling wine. By getting rid of this Prohibition-era monopoly and allowing consumers the freedom to buy wine in grocery stores, we could raise almost $300 million in new franchise fees. In addition, a respected Cornell economist concluded that increased sales would lead to an additional $22 million a year in ongoing revenue for New York. That amount could cover an estimated 325 public school teachers, or the cost of keeping a hospital from closing.

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