Tax-free alcohol proposed for holidays - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Tax-free alcohol proposed for holidays

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Merrymaking could be tax free on the holidays.

Republican Sen. Kevin Witkos of Canton has sponsored legislation that would create a tax holiday from Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve.

He said the law would exempt beer, wine and liquor from the 6.35 percent sales tax between a trial period of Nov. 15 and Dec. 31.

Witkos said the goal would be to make the state competitive with Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Those states do not tax alcohol sales.

Connecticut nets nearly $50 million a year on its tax. Despite that being great for the state, store owners say it's what's preventing them from competing with Connecticut's neighbors.

"Every time we need to raise money we target smokers and drinkers," said Nish Patel, a liquor store owner. "It would be nice to see this time, we're not targeting the drinkers when we need to raise money."

If the seasonal window goes through, owners believe their sales will skyrocket.

"They're going to feel like they're getting something back," explained Patel. "They're not paying the sales tax. They'll buy more thinking that if I don't use it during the holidays, I'll use it after. Alcohol doesn't have an expiration date."

Some customers told Eyewitness News that they like the idea.

"I'd probably buy a little more because I could," said Cromwell resident Kim Caverly.

Others weren't so sure it was a good idea.

"If it's only for that period, I don't think it will make much of a difference," said Jim Duras of West Haven. "If it was through the entire year, it would be a bigger saving."

The Finance, Revenue and Bonding Commission is considering the bill.

A hearing for the proposal has yet to be set.

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