Time to modernize Md.'s liquor laws

November 29, 2010

In response to Annie Linskey's "More access to wine on the table" (Nov. 25) we are pleased that our elected officials are finally willing to seriously consider bringing Maryland into the modern era. Were the arguments espoused by the wholesale liquor lobbyists legitimate in opposition to the direct shipping of wine to consumers, we certainly would have seen some evidence thus far in the other states. Their skies have not yet fallen!

In an effort to be fair to both wineries and retailers, we have fought hard to include both in any shipping legislation and to treat in-state and out-of-state interests the same. That's why the proposed bill requires non-Maryland retailers to collect Maryland sales tax, leveling the playing field so that everyone pays the same tax rate. We want more choices but in a fair, equitable manner.

John Hesse

The writer is executive director of Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws.

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