Oklahoma legislature considers two new alcohol measures

Feb 27, 2017

Bryan Kerr, President of the Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma, is seen Wednesday at Moore Liquor in Moore.
Credit Steve Sisney / The Oklahoman

A couple of new Oklahoma bills would consider questions that have occupied the Sooner State for decades, reports The Oklahoman.

One measure proposes to leave Sunday liquor sales up to the counties. If Senate Bill 211 passes, voters in each individual county could decide whether to allow liquor stores to open between noon and midnight on Sundays.

Meanwhile, under House Bill 1686, consumers would pay no sales tax on beer, wine and spirits. Instead, they would pay higher excise taxes.

But while 1686 may seem like a tax-simplification measure, opponents say it would lead to Oklahomans paying some of the highest excise taxes in the U.S.

Alex Weintz, executive director of the alcohol-law reform group Modernize Oklahoma, says the law “would put [Oklahoma] at a major disadvantage.”

However, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Harold Wright, believes that the fewer levels of taxation the state has, the better.