A group of restaurants in pours for takeaway alcohol

The New York State Restaurant Association is urging the state legislature to include takeout alcohol in its new budget, calling it key to the industry’s recovery.

The group says the state’s restaurant industry brought in $4 billion a year in sales tax revenue before the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020 and allowing take-out alcohol will boost businesses. restaurant sales that will generate revenue for the state.

While take-out alcohol was included in Governor Kathy Hochul’s executive budget proposal, its inclusion in the final budget scheduled for March 31 is not guaranteed, according to a statement from the restaurant association.

The state’s restaurant industry has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels, according to a January 2022 survey, which found 74% of operators said sales volume in 2021 was down. lower than in 2019. Additionally, 55% of restaurants have reduced opening hours on days they were open and 40% are closed on days they would normally be open, limiting sales.

“Restaurants are responsible for billions of dollars in state revenue, and the collapse of our industry over the past two years has a direct impact on the New York State budget,” said Melissa Fleischut, President and CEO of NYSRA, in the statement. “The guaranteed increase in takeaway alcohol sales tax revenue definitely makes it a budget issue. In addition to sales tax and excise tax, property tax and income tax all contribute significantly to state coffers and are at risk without additional industry assistance. Take-out alcohol is expected to be addressed by the legislature before the March 31 budget deadline.

Passed in 2020, the takeaway alcohol provision was designed as a lifeline for restaurants and bars that suffered business losses Consequently the pandemic, but state lawmakers let the provision expire last June. Trade groups representing liquor stores oppose the revival of takeout alcohol. The Metro Package Store Association says making carryout liquor permanent will “devastate our liquor stores,” while creating a public health crisis and disrupting on and off.premise alcohol distribution and sale system.

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