As an adult voter in Massachusetts, I urge you to ADD A WINERY DIRECT SHIPPING AMENDMENT to the Senate’s version of the budget which mirrors the House’s budget amendment.
If passed, this will allow wine lovers like me to purchase a limited amount of wine directly from wineries licensed by our state to ship.
The House’s amendment is based on the model direct shipping bill being used successfully by the majority of U.S. states. It requires wineries to purchase a state-issued shipping license, to mark boxes as requiring signature at delivery, to pay taxes, and to limit the quantity of wine shipped to individuals. The language is a proven solution that remedies the current statute which was ruled unconstitutional by the 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals four years ago.
Other states have found that similar laws provide tax revenues and do not hurt local wholesalers and retailers. The direct shipping programs of Virginia and New York created $3 million and $4.5 million in annual state tax revenues, respectively. The December 2012 report by the Maryland Comptroller noted that wholesale-to-retail business actually increased 3.6% the year following implementation of their statute.
Massachusetts is the second largest state for wine enjoyment that continues an archaic ban on wine direct shipping, and excludes 98% of US wine from direct purchase. Consumers like me, not the influential special interests, should determine which wines we can enjoy and how we purchase them.
Please let us know if you intend to support an amendment.