The Benefits of Legalizing Sunday Liquor Sales

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Numerous states around the country still restrict or prohibit the sale of distilled spirits on Sundays, a Prohibition era relic known as “blue laws.” Last year, Minnesota took steps to legalize Sunday sales, and now a wave of additional states—including West Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, and South Carolina—are considering similar legislation. Doing so is a good idea from both a revenue-raising perspective and as a freedom-enhancing measure. A recent article for the Duluth News Tribune by Lindsey Stroud of the Heartland Institute recaps the economic success stemming from Minnesota’s reform:

July 2019 will mark two years since Minnesota repealed its Prohibition-era ban on selling alcohol on Sundays. In 2017, then-Gov. Mark Dayton, a DFLer, signed legislation "allowing for the sale of alcohol from stores on Sundays between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m."…

To understand the impact of Sunday sales, it's actually better to look at excise tax collections. An estimated 75 percent to 80 percent of all sales, as measured in volume, occur at off-premise establishments. According to data from the Minnesota Department of Revenue, the state collected an estimated $86.8 million in annual excise taxes during the pre-Sunday sales period. Since Sunday sales began, excise taxes have increased to $90.4 million, a growth rate of 4.2 percent. Typically, alcohol tax revenue grows around 2 percent to 2.5 percent annually. Sunday sales in Minnesota seems to have generated a much higher revenue growth rate.

Moreover, with full-strength beer sales boosted as well, it's safe to say that Sunday sales has provided an economic gain to Minnesotans and will continue to do so…

Stroud’s entire article is well worth a read (here).