Hartford – Senator Len Fasano and Representative Dave Yaccarino today spoke out against Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s proposal to eliminate minimum bottle pricing in Connecticut. The two North Haven lawmakers testified in opposition to the governor’s bill at a public hearing in Hartford on Tuesday February 23.
Local package store owners are opposing the governor’s proposal which could hurt small businesses and benefit large retail chains with the removal of minimum bottle pricing.
“Connecticut needs to take steps that reduce burdens and make it easier for job creators to grow and thrive in our state,” Sen. Fasano testified. “Unfortunately, removing minimum bottle pricing would put small business owners at a huge disadvantage compared to large chain stores. Removing this rule would enable larger stores to sell products below cost to attract customers away from the smaller mom-and-pop stores that cannot afford to sell products for such low prices.”
“Over the past 35 years Connecticut has had minimum pricing laws in the alcohol retail business, many are owned and operated by families or mom-and-pop stores. They are part of our communities and give generously back by contributing financially to our local civic groups,” said Rep. Yaccarino. “I believe the current minimum pricing laws prevent the larger stores from selling bottles below cost attracting consumers with the goal of driving the mom-and-pop stores out of business; in time, raising their prices due to less competition in our towns when the smaller establishments cannot stay in business. Alcohol is a highly regulated product, we must look at the larger picture.”
Fasano added: “The current minimum pricing laws are designed to promote fairness in the system and give all businesses the opportunity to be successful. Eliminating these laws would put us on a path to large stores putting small stores out of business and killing local competition.”
Rep. Yaccarino also addressed the governor’s claim that his proposal aims to help customers.
“If the sole reason for this proposal is lower prices, then Connecticut should eliminate the sales tax on alcohol as Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire have done so,” Yaccarino said, explaining that instead of cutting a tax like our neighboring states, the governor is pursuing a path that targets the business and profits of small community businesses.