NEWARK, Del. — A bill that would allow Delaware grocers to pay a one-time alcohol licensing fee of $100,000 per store and gain the right to sell beer and wine was introduced here last week.
The measure could result in $10 million in revenue for the state that currently prohibits alcohol sales at grocery, according to reports. It would be funded, in part, by a $5,000 renewal fee, due every other year.
A similar measure that would have allowed for wine sales by New York grocers was dropped from Gov. David Patterson’s budget proposal for unspecified reasons, earlier this year. But a bill introduced last month by New York Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, D-Rochester, is giving food retailers in the state new hope. It could create $130 million in revenue.
“Revenues coming into the state are not as strong as what was budgeted for,” Jim Rogers, president of the Food Industry Alliance of New York, told SN. “The governor is still very interested in the proposal.”
Rogers is hopeful the measure will become part of a budget deficit bill that would also benefit liquor stores, by allowing for cooperative buying and the sale of complementary items like food. It would also allow current liquor store owners to own more than one store.
Similar legislation is being considered in New Jersey. It would permit more retail food stores to enter the beer and wine business.
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