Connecticut may hike alcohol tax 20%

HARTFORD, CT -- In a move that is becoming distressingly common for the liquor and hospitality industries, another state is trying to slap a huge tax increase on alcohol.

The Connecticut General Assembly's Democratic-controlled tax committee has passed a tax package that would hike rates by 20%. However, Patricia Widlitz, House chairman of the panel, cautions that it is not a done deal and the numbers could change this week.

The proposed increase would generate $9.8 million in the first year of the two-year state budget and $9.3 million in the second year.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS) says that if the proposal becomes law, it would cut retail sales by $38 million and cost 485 jobs in the hospitality industry.

Back in March, to the dismay of many dealers and consumers, a bill that would have allowed Sunday alcohol sales died in committee without being voted on. Had it gone through the steps to become law, it could have generated significant revenue for the state.

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