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Legislation

Congress Says “No Help” For Gulf Coast Licensees

I have to share this in entirety. I don’t have time to read it, then rewrite it (wish I did). When I read this, I just couldn’t believe what I was reading, and I want this to be in more than one place on the Internet… Believe me… Prohibition is alive and well… Read on. This is from:

BEVERAGE ALCOHOL MARKET REPORT ON-LINE

160 E. 48th St., NY NY 10017, 212/371-5237

Perry Luntz, Publisher: perl@aol.com

January 1, 2006

Vol. 25 Number 01

“Believe it or not, the Federal government isn’t yet finished muddling up efforts to help the Gulf Coast recover from Hurricanes Katrina, the most far-reaching natural disaster in the nation’s history. The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005, authored by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), that passed the House in mid-December has a provision specifically prohibiting the government from awarding any of the proposed .64 billion in emergency business tax relief to liquor stores, casinos, clubs and similar businesses.

“In other words, there will be not tax credits or other grants for retaining employees and paying relocation expenses in the disaster area nor will the bill’s other incentives to encourage businesses to clean up debris and rebuild in the affected Gulf regions be given to any business connected with the hospitality industry that supports New Orleans. As a result it’s estimated that about 5,000 that sold alcohol beverages in Southern Louisiana will remain shuttered. Almost all of them are small businesses that desperately need assistance to recover, leading Chris Young, Director Louisiana Association of Beverage Alcohol Licensees (LABAL), to call the measure ‘one of the most anti-family proposals we have ever encountered.” Distilled Spirits Council of the US (DISCUS) Government Affairs Senior VP Mark Gorman adds: The idea that legal businesses which pay billions annually in Federal, state and local taxes would be excluded from the benefits of disaster relief assistance is the worst kind of public policy precedent.

“Denying help to hospitality businesses particularly in regions that depend so heavily on tourism is not only cruel, and unjust, it’s also self-defeating and will subvert the goal of rebuilding the Gulf Coast. The entire bev/al industry urges their Senators not to pass the bill as written. Distributors and retailers could also consider a local petition drive to alert consumers and include them in getting the ban removed.” (Authored by Perry Luntz)

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