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Wine In Supermarkets Redux: The Battle Continues

They're at it again, those crazy kids fighting in Albany over the long-running debate about whether to allow the state's supermarkets to sell wine.

This scrap, which pits the supermarket lobby versus the equally powerful liquor store lobby has been going on for years. The Voice even wrote about in back in August, 2009.

Well, the supermarket folks lost the battle during the Paterson years, but now with Andrew Cuomo in the governor's seat and another budget crisis brewing, they are trying again.

The latest flurry in this battle by press release is over a study sponsored by the supermarket lobby, which concluded the measure would raise "hundreds of millions of dollars through franchise fees, plus $71.1 million in additional sales tax, and create 6,000 net jobs in wineries and related industries."

The liquor store group represented by an association called the Last Store On Main Street apparently didn't find the study all that persuasive. "Another year, another study from the Big Box stores, yet the only face to come from this work of fiction is that these greedy grocers will spend any amount of money to shutter small businesses across the state," said spokesman Michael McKeon.

McKeon claims the measure would cause "the closure of 1,000 stores, unemploy 4,500 people, stunt the growing New York winery industry and increase underage drinking."

The study was funded by the New Yorkers for Economic Growth and Open Markets, which officials is a coalition of supermarkets, farms, wineries, liquor stores, wholesalers and small businesses. Last Store on Main Street claims a similar roster of interested parties, including close to 100 wineries.


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