“At Rest” Update…The Truth
We warned you…the battle isn’t over until the fat cat sings…and boy, is this tubby tabby howling in the alley.
Last week, the forces behind “At Rest” sent a letter to their clients. Read this exact letter below, which is followed by a response that was scripted by the New York Fine Wine Wholesalers Alliance.
Please feel free to forward this link to EVERYONE you know in the NYS wine industry, for there is to be NO REST until the “At Rest” proposal is sealed in a casket underground.
The Fat Cat sings:
By now you have all heard about the controversy regarding the introduction of “The At Rest Bill”. This bill will require all merchandise delivered to licensees in New York to be stored for at least 48 hours in New York. This bill has been added to the budget and will be decided on soon. If passed it could mean a windfall for the New York State budget because it would allow taxes to be collected on merchandise that is slipping in under the radar when it comes from other states direct to licensees. Estimates are as high as 1 Billion dollars worth of goods are coming into the New York Market from other states. What’s interesting is that New Jersey has this exact same law in place right now in that state. If wholesalers want to do business in New York they would be forced to conduct their business here, pay taxes to NY, hire people in NY, contribute to the NY economy. These other wholesalers have a huge advantage by operating in New Jersey and avoiding all the costs that are associated with doing business in New York.
If this bill passes the revenues generated would dwarf what was projected from the “Wine in Grocery Stores” proponents and may stall that even longer. I know a lot of people have been getting emails that this is being done by Southern and Empire but this is untrue. This addition to the budget could be the revenue the state was looking for by putting wine into Grocery stores.”
The response from the New York Fine Wine Wholesalers Alliance:
Shame on them for lying to you and saying they aren’t doing this. In this country, lobbying money spent must be publically disclosed. Call the DKC office in Albany (518-813-4832) and ask Paul Zuber what client he is representing on “at rest”, and call the office of Featherstonehaugh, Wiley & Clyne (518-436-0786) and ask Jim Featherstone the same. Or, just look it up; this is a matter of PUBLIC record. Not only can you look up the money paid to lobbyists, but also corporate and individual owners and managers personal contributions to the re-election funds of those public officials with influence on this topic. Shame on them for denying their involvement!
Shame on them for sending you false information and unsubstantiated accusations about us! ALL NY licensed wholesalers MUST be a New York entity with offices in the state of New York by law. We all employ New Yorkers, pay New York income taxes for those employees, New York revenue taxes on our sales, and excise tax to New York on every shipment regardless of whether the truck leaves a warehouse in NY or NJ that morning. We are offended that we are accused of operating “under the radar!” We pay all of the SAME taxes, wages and everything that the people sending you this misinformation about us do. How dare they accuse us of not! Obviously not all of us would close if this were passed, but the fact is that most wouldn’t be able to survive the cost of creating new warehousing in New York. The 4M+ square feet of temperature controlled warehousing used in NJ just doesn’t exist here. And, if that happens, you will face losing choices and paying more for your wine. It’s just that simple. Look at the states that the 2 or 3 big boys dominate without small or medium size wholesalers like us. Florida has less than 5,000 wines available versus New York’s 25,000+.
Shame on them for telling half the story and expecting you to buy it! Yes, NJ does have “at rest” legislation on the books currently. So do a lot of other states, BECAUSE NOT ALL HAVE GOTTEN AROUND TO REPEALING EACH OF THEIR BLUE LAWS REGARDING ALCOHOL, SOME OF WHICH DATE AS FAR BACK AS 1781. It isn’t like a single one of the states that have this law actually adopted it in this century.
Shame on them! We all play nicely together in the same sandbox. Why can’t they? There are only two companies that want this, are actively lobbying for it, and you know who they are. Why can’t providing good customer service and quality products be the way to gain market share rather than trying to change a law to put good and honest people out of business and jobs? Shame on them!
Admiral Wine Merchants, BNP Distributing, David Bowler Wine, T. Edward Wines, Fleetwood Trucking, Fond Du Lac Cold Storage, Frederick Wildman & Sons, Hanover Warehouse, Opici Wine Co., Polaner Selections, Martin Scott Wines, Michael Skurnik Wines, Monsieur Touton Selection, Verity Wine Partners, Winebow