Kansas Retail Groups Form Coalition

Coalition says common sense reform on the sale of beer, wine and spirits would bring jobs and revenue to Kansas – without raising taxes.

A group of Kansas retail businesses and industry organizations have formed the Coalition for Jobs and Consumer Choice (CJCC), a group committed to updating laws on the sale of beer, wine and spirits.

For the first time, grocery stores, convenience stores and other retailers – both large and small – representing more than 1,700 Kansas businesses, over 35,000 jobs, and more than $200 million in state and local tax revenue, have come together to support legislation to update these laws to create both immediate and long-term economic benefits for Kansas.

“Citizens across the state have been struggling through this economic downturn and we need to do all we can to keep businesses, jobs and economic activity in Kansas, and modernizing these anti-competitive laws can help,” said Tom Palace, executive director of the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association of Kansas. “Updating laws on the sale of beer, wine and spirits will provide significant revenues for Kansas businesses, local and state governments, and for the economy as a whole – and it will do so immediately.”

CJCC plans to work with Kansas legislators to update current laws to allow grocery stores, convenience stores and other Kansas retailers to sell beer, wine and spirits.  Kansas currently faces an estimated $550 million budget shortfall in the next fiscal year. More than ever, Kansas needs new and sustainable sources of revenue.  Updating laws on the sale of these products is a simple yet substantial way to increase revenue without increasing taxes.

“Like many other states, Kansas has been hit hard by the economic downturn.  As a result, supermarkets have been negatively affected in all aspects of their business,” said Jon McCormick, president of the Retail Grocers Association.  “Deregulating current laws will promote competition in both rural and urban areas, enabling supermarkets to create more jobs, generate tax revenue and increase options for consumers.”

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