Warehousing booze bill could raise prices, opponents warn

A coalition began a Stop the Cork Tax campaign Tuesday, opposing legislation intended to create jobs.
Credit: Colourbox

A group aims to put a cork in legislation they said could increase booze prices in New York.

The proposed laws, intended to create jobs, would require alcohol to be kept in warehouses within New York for at least 24 hours before being sold in the state.

Many smaller wholesalers use warehouses in New Jersey, which typically have lower storage costs.

Business owners in the state launched a coalition against the bills Tuesday, calling on lawmakers to Stop the Cork Tax.

Chris Missick, 33, of Villa Bellangelo in the Finger Lakes region, said the winery might not be able to access the New York City market if the legislation passes.

“It’s going to make things more expensive for consumers and more difficult for business owners,” Missick said.

Critics like Missick said the bill is designed to benefit big wholesalers who already have warehouses in New York.

But a spokesman for Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein, who is sponsoring the legislation in the Senate, said the priority is creating jobs.

“Why should we protect shell companies in New Jersey but leave New York workers out in the cold?” spokesman Eric Soufer asked in a statement.

Soufer added that evidence from 33 states with similar laws, including New Jersey, suggests booze prices will stay the same.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the administration directed the Empire State Development to study the issue, and a review is ongoing.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders


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