—National Association of Wine Retailers Opposes Anti-Consumer Legislation—
(Albuquerque, NEW MEXICO) The National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR) has announced its opposition to, and astonishment with, a bill moving through the New Mexico legislature that would remove consumers’right to receive wine shipments from out-of-state wine stores.
Currently and for quite some time New Mexico law has allowed wine lovers to receive shipments of wine from out-of-state wine stores, as well as wineries. If Senate Bill 127 becomes law, New Mexico wine lovers will no longer have access to wine shipments from out-of-state wine stores and retailers. What this means is that wine lovers will no longer be able to receive any shipments of French wines and other imported wines only sold by retailers, collectible wines from auction houses, hard to find wines not available in New Mexico, Israeli-made kosher wines, or wines from wine-of-the-month club—all of which are only sold in the United States by retailers.
Protection for MIddlemen at the Expense of New Mexico Consumers
“Senate Bill 127 is a purely protectionist and anti-consumer bill that strips New Mexico consumers of a right they have enjoyed for many years to obtain wine from out-of-state wine retailers that they can’t find locally,” said Tom Wark, executive director of NAWR. “The bill is meant to protect the deep pockets of billion-dollar, wholesaler middlemen that want protection from competition.”
Currently, New Mexico law allows shipments from out-of-state retailers on a reciprocal basis, meaning if a given state allows New Mexico wine retailers ship in, then retailers in that state may ship to consumers in New Mexico. Unlike shipments from wineries, shipments from out-of-state retailers are not taxed nor are reports filed by out-of-state retailers. A far better legislative approach would be to regulate wine shipments from out-of-state retailers in the same way as shipments from out-of-state wineries. Out-of-state retailers ought to be required to obtain permits, to remit taxes to the state and to file reports on how much wine was shipped to New Mexico consumers.
“This legislation does nothing to support New Mexico consumers or to fill the tax coffers of the state,” noted Wark. “However, it does a great deal to reward deep-pocketed New Mexico wine middlemen and campaign contributors who seek protection from competition at the expense of New Mexico consumers and the state.”
About the National Association of Wine Retailers
NAWR is a trade association representing wine retailers, wine auction houses and wine-of-the-month club nationwide. It advocates on behalf of its members on issues of free trade and a fair regulatory environment. For more information see www.nawr.org.
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Tom Wark, Executive Director
National Association of Wine Retailers
(971) 332-5057 • [email protected]