HARTFORD, CT - An Enfield, Connecticut lawmaker has proposed allowing liquor and grocery stores to sell alcohol on Sundays, a measure that proponents maintain would boost state tax revenue, the Journal Inquirer reports.
Rep. Kathleen Tallarita said the current Sunday ban affects towns such as Enfield, as residents typically drive to neighboring Massachusetts to purchase alcohol.
"It€™s really not about the alcohol," Tallarita. "It€™s more about the fairness."
Tallarita said studies have estimated that Sunday sales could generate up to $18 million between the sales tax and excise tax on alcohol.
"It€™s true revenue," she said. "It€™s not just a gimmick €" the money€™s there."
A similar bill failed in committee last year, and Governor Jodi Rell had threatened to veto it anyway.
Opponents, which include package store owners, maintain the move would harm their business and contribute to drunken driving, underage drinking, and other alcohol-related problems. They also challenged the notion that Sunday sales would raise money for the state.
"The only business that might be new is the people who have serious problems €" who drink every day," said Carroll Hughes, who represents the Connecticut Package Stores Association.
Hughes challenged revenue predictions, saying they don't distinguish alcohol sales from package stores and sales at restaurants, which are allowed on Sundays. He also said that any benefit in taxes would be offset by roughly 300 jobs lost from small package stores.