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An Open Letter to the Texas House Licensing Committee: Allow Sunday Retail Alcohol Sales!

March 19, 2013

Dear Legislator:

On behalf of National Taxpayers Union’s (NTU’s) more than 23,000 members in Texas, I urge you to support House Bill 421 (HB 421), which would permit retail liquor sales on Sundays and extend retail liquor sales hours Monday through Saturday.

The citizens of Texas are looking to their elected officials to promote continued economic prosperity, which is best achieved by keeping taxes low, minimizing government expenditures, and doing away with burdensome regulations. Texas has been a leader nationally on such policies in recent years, which has resulted in budget surpluses and a vibrant state economy. Given the Lone Star State’s prosperity during the economic slump, it only makes sense for the Texas Legislature to continue this growth by examining regulatory policies to determine whether they are effective and still necessary today.

Although “Blue Laws” were widespread in America during the early 20th century, more and more states have recognized that such laws should be modernized. Currently, 36 states allow Sunday retail liquor sales, including New Mexico, Arkansas, and Louisiana, as well as the neighboring country of Mexico. The time has come to stop the revenue loss to adjacent jurisdictions that results from this archaic restriction.

Allowing Sunday sales would give Texas consumers and visitors added convenience for shopping, and will also provide benefits for the economy and the state. Increased sales would mean increased economic activity, which would translate into more jobs in the retail industry and more revenue for the state – an estimated $7.5 million annually – without raising tax rates. Further, it would mean that individual businesses – not the state government – could better determine their operating hours.

Texas’ taxpayers are counting on you to look after their long-term interests. You can do so by eliminating the prohibition on Sunday sales of distilled spirits and extending retail sales hours to Monday through Saturday. As such, I encourage you to vote “yes” on HB 421.

Lee Schalk
State Government Affairs Manager