Study Finds Avenue for Kansas to Create Thousands of Jobs, Millions in Revenue

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Today, the Coalition for Jobs and Consumer Choice (CJCC) released “An Economic Case for Increased Competition in the Sale of Beer, Wine, and Spirits in the State of Kansas,” a study which finds that updating Kansas’ laws regarding the sale of beer, wine, and spirits could create nearly 15,000 jobs, $343 million in wages, and $72.5 million in state and local tax revenue for the state.
“From the start of the Great Recession until the most recent data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kansas has lost 89,757 private-sector jobs-and an associated $1.3 billion in annual wages. On top of that, Kansas faces a budget gap of $550 million in Fiscal Year 2011,” said Dr. Art Hall, the study’s author and Executive Director of the Center for Applied Economics at the University of Kansas. “The appropriate policy response to Kansas’ economic situation is to discover and implement immediate and significant ways of creating growth for the Kansas economy. Specifically, updating the sale of beer, wine and spirits to allow additional retailers to sell these products would considerably increase state tax revenue, create jobs for local communities, and generate higher wage earnings.”
Dr. Hall finds that regulations that limit the mobility of resources, such as beer, wine and spirits, result in negative economic consequences, at a time when Kansas can least afford it. On Tuesday and Wednesday, February 1 and 2, CJCC will testify before the Senate State and Federal Affairs committee regarding legislation that would update Kansas’ laws to allow grocery stores, convenience stores, and other retailers to sell full-strength beer, wine and spirits for the benefit of all Kansans.
“With higher unemployment rates, and depressed consumer spending, our grocers have been hit particularly hard by the economic downturn,” said Jon McCormick, President of the Retail Grocers Association of Kansas. “On behalf of RGA’s stores across the state that represent Kansas employees, I am dedicated to updating legislation to expand product offerings, increase grocery stores’ workforce, and provide a much needed boost to businesses – large and small.”