NY State “At Rest” Budget Amendment

by Jeff Harding
March 2012

The Twitterverse erupted Tuesday, March 6, when T. Edward Wines, Michael Skurnik Wines,and over 40 other wine wholesalers blogged and tweeted about the proposed “At Rest” provision in New York State 2012 budget. This amendment would require importers and distributors who warehouse their wine and spirits out of state to deliver them to a licensed New York State wholesaler for a period of 48 hours before the final delivery to a retail establishment or restaurant. About 79 percent of New York City importers and distributors have warehouses in New Jersey, where rent is cheaper than Manhattan or other boroughs, and—better still—they pay no taxes to New Jersey.

This amendment would likely increase the final cost of the hooch (by up to $5 per case), as well as delay delivery for up to three days (normally in New York State if you order before 4pm, you can get your delivery the next day). Additionally, it would reduce the available range of competitively priced wines and boutique spirits, and potentially put smaller distributors out of business.

The argument put forward by lobbyists is that the amendment would create revenue and warehouse union jobs in New York. But ultimately it would mean a mad scramble for warehouse space by the smaller companies and increased cost of storage passed onto the consumer. These smaller distributors are the driving force behind the incredible diversity of wine and spirits that New Yorkers have come to appreciate. Many blogs and tweets include a link to contact New York senators to voice your opinion, as well as inviting you to petition at SignOn.org.

Follow the action using the twitter feed to the right,
or join the conversation using #AtRest.