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Georgia considers lifting ban on Sunday alcohol sales

Jeanne Bonner Mar 29, 2011
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Jeremy Hobson: To the state of Georgia now. Tomorrow, lawmakers will consider letting grocery stores sell alcohol on Sundays.

From Georgia Public Broadcasting, Jeanne Bonner reports.


Jeanne Bonner: When the bill was first introduced, some supporters argued that allowing retailers to sell alcohol on Sunday could boost state sales tax revenue.

Kenneth Heaghney is Georgia’s fiscal economist. He says the bill would have scant impact on state revenues.

Kenneth Heaghney: The state gets about $169 million in alcohol tax per year. If we got 2 to 3 percent additional, I think that would be $3 million to $4 million to $5 million per year of additional revenue.

Which is not a lot, when you’re dealing with an annual budget of $18 billion.

Similarly, grocery stores likely wouldn’t see a big bump in sales because shoppers won’t necessarily buy more alcohol just because they can buy it on Sunday. Then there’s shifting consumer habits. Many working parents, especially mothers, say Sunday is the only day they can shop for the
week.

Amy Hillman is one of those working moms. The Atlanta resident and mother of three testified at the Georgia statehouse that the bill is a question of convenience.

Amy Hillman: That’s the time I can leisurely go through the grocery store, plan the week ahead. And if part of that is, we want to pick up a bottle of wine for a dinner party or my husband wants me to grab beer, I should be able to do that.

If Georgia passes the bill, it would leave just Indiana and Connecticut with a ban on retail alcohol sales on Sunday.

In Atlanta, I’m Jeanne Bonner for Marketplace.

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