HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Part two of Governor Malloy's liquor law battle is underway at the State Capitol.
He won round one last year getting allowing liquor sales on Sundays...now he wants to change the state's complicated pricing policy that he says makes the state uncompetitive with the surrounding states.
Since last May, Connecticut consumers have been able to purchase beer, wine and spirits on Sundays and most holidays.
Many store owners say it has not increased business, but part two of the Malloy administration's liquor law battle is to abolish Connecticut's minimum pricing rules.
The only ones in the nation; rules designed to protect small stores by setting the price for a bottle no matter if you buy one or an entire case it has to be the same.
"We feel that the minimum pricing artificially inflates pricing for the consumer," said Arthur DeSisto, Total Wine & More in Norwalk, "forcing, in many instances, forcing customers to shop neighboring states."
The administration believes in the northern tier of the state, it results in the loss of at least $2.5 million a year in tax revenue as people flock to lower prices in Massachusetts.
Dominic Alaimo, who operates a store on the border in Enfield, says it will help him compete against the so-called big box stores.
"If this guy is buying liquor by the case, cheaper than I am, this law will allow me to buy two bottles equal to the price that he pays for 12 bottles," said Alaimo.
However, many small store operators around the state flooded to the Capitol again Tuesday, saying big box liquor retailers will move in and it will force them and the dozen or so small distillers that operate in the state, out of business.
"They want to bring the national brands in, sell them at cost basically, and drive all the small guys out," said Greg Carlon, Castle Wine & Spirits in Westport. "They would drive the small liquor companies out, the small liquor wholesalers out as well."
"The marketplace will change and the small brands will be affected," said Mike Scalise, CT Small Brand Council, "whether it be shelf space or pricing."
Some liquor store owners have told News 8 that the state sales tax is another big problem.
Massachusetts does not charge sales tax on beer, wine and liquor.
The state tax commissioner told News 8 Tuesday that abolishing the sales tax on beer, wine and liquor could be next year's battle here.
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ChuckR | February 27 2013 8:55am
As a package store owner I PRAY they abolish this ancient practice. If they let the market set the price we can compete with other states. My store is small and its not near the border (and NOT open on Sunday), and for large orders for weddings and parties I know I can't compete with out of state stores that my customers go to. For large orders I can't blame them at all
Hosed-by-the-system | February 27 2013 8:34am
First...................the state government needs to keep its damn nose out of the way ANY business DOES business...especially pricing...THAT is up to the individual business's...............
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