Statewide Direct Shipments of Wine to Homes OK’d by Senate

Wine could be directly shipped to all Tennessee addresses, not just those in cities allowing liquor-by-the-drink sales, under a bill approved 21-7 by the Senate Monday.
Enactment of the bill, SB1030, is projected by the Fiscal Review Committee staff to increase wine sales statewide by about 5 percent, resulting in the state collecting $1.77 million in new taxes and local governments collecting $430,009 in new revenue.
The bill spurred no debate beyond a brief explanation by its sponsor, Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro.
The Legislature two years ago enacted a law allowing direct wine shipments from sellers, both inside and outside of Tennessee, into the state. But the shipments were restricted to cities that have approved liquor-by-the-drink sales through refendum – and about two-thirds of Tennessee municipalities have not.
Ketron said the situation “creates a lot of confusion” for wineries and wine sellers. Passage, he said, will eliminate that confusion and benefit consumers who are “more of a wine connoisseur” wishing to buy special vintages not available locally.
The bill now goes to the House.
Ketron is also sponsor of legislation that would allow the sale of wine in grocery stores, which is scheduled for a Senate committee vote on Tuesday.

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