Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Council Hearing Set for April 20 on Mayor's Proposal to Loosen Liquor Sales Rules

Councilmember Jim Graham, Chairman of the Committee on Human Services (which includes alcohol regulation) has scheduled a public hearing on a set of proposed changes to the rules governing the sale and taxation of alcohol in the District.The hearing will take place on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 120 of the Wilson Building.

The hearing will take testimony on a proposal from Mayor Vincent Gray and the Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration to expand hours for the sales of alcoholic beverages and to increase the tax on the sale of alcohol by one percent. The proposal would:
  • Allow beer, wine, and liquor stores to remain open until midnight (currently 10 p.m.)
  • Increase the sales tax on off-premises alcohol sales from 9 percent to 10 percent.
  • Allow bars to sell alcohol beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Sundays (currently 10  a.m.)
  • Allow liquor stores to sell alcohol on Sundays.
According to the Gray administration, these measures will raise approximately $6.3 million for the city's general fund in fiscal year 2012. Funds raised by the latter two proposals will go to support the police cost reimbursement program on weekends at the bars. The other proposals will be used as general fund revenues.

Those wishing to testify should contact Mr. Benton Heimsath at (202) 724-8191 by Tuesday, April 19, 2011.

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