States Loosening Alcohol Laws to Raise Revenues
States across the U.S. are considering proposals to ease restrictions on alcohol sales in hopes of boosting tax revenues in a challenging fiscal environment, the Associated Press reported Feb. 16.
In Utah, for example, lawmakers are considering ending a 40-year-old law that required consumers to get a license before drinking in a bar. Sunday-sales bans in Georgia, Connecticut, Indiana, Texas, Alabama, and Minnesota could fall. A Nebraska lawmaker has even proposed allowing residents to drink alcohol in state parks in order to increase tourism.
Bills in Alabama and Kansas would allow grocery stores to sell full-strength beer, while a Tennessee measure would let supermarkets sell wine. Alabama legislators are debating a proposal to allow beer with alcohol content of up to 13.9 percent to be sold; current law restricts beer to 6 percent alcohol by volume.
On the other hand, at least 24 states are considering proposals to raise alcohol taxes.