Advocates rally to support alcohol bottle pricing lawsuit - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Advocates rally to support alcohol bottle pricing lawsuit

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A group that represents distilled spirits brands announced its support of a lawsuit against minimum bottle pricing in Connecticut.

The Distilled Spirits Council issued a statement on Wednesday during which it said it long urged state lawmakers to end the practice and supported Gov. Dannel Malloy's initiatives to repeal the statutes.

“According to our economic analysis, ending Connecticut’s minimum bottle price requirement would generate between $5.2 to $8.1 million annually in new excise and sales taxes," said Jay Hibbard, regional vice president of Distilled Spirits Council. "As complications with the state budget persist, it is counterproductive to set artificially high prices, which then drive consumers across state borders for purchases and results in the loss of millions in tax revenue each year."

Total Wine & More, a liquor retailer, said it filed the suit on Tuesday. It claimed Connecticut's current liquor laws force customers to pay more money.

It said customers should pay fair prices on wine and spirits.

Connecticut is the only state where wholesalers and retailers together set the minimum price for consumers.

Total Wine & More said the state's prices are driving customers to purchase alcohol in neighboring states like Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

“Ending minimum bottle pricing would make Connecticut more competitive with its surrounding states, provide better pricing for consumers and increase revenue to the state,” Hibbard said.

The Connecticut Package Stores Association, however, called the lawsuit an attempt by a company to dominate the marketplace and eliminate stores.

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