Ending Sunday Sales Ban Seen Benefiting South Carolina

Lifting the existing ban on Sunday liquor store sales in South Carolina could significantly impact the state's tax revenue, distribution system efficiency, and consumer convenience.

That's the finding of a just-released student funded by a group supporting Sunday sales.  

The six-month study by Dr. F. Andrew Hanssen and Dr. Raymond D. Sauer found lifting the ban could generate more than $2 million in state excise and sales tax revenues per year. If that finding is projected over 20 years, it could mean up to approximately $24 million and $48 million in state and local tax revenues over the next 10 and 20 years, respectively. This would result in positive long-term effects on retailers, consumers, and distributors.

"South Carolina residents would no longer have to stock up for Sunday spirits usage or cross state borders into Georgia, where Sunday spirits are allowed. [Over] the long term, more efficient distribution systems would emerge in a setting where stores can open whenever demand is sufficient," the study states.

"The research supports the idea that South Carolina enjoys real economic benefits if we let our local business owners compete," said Ed McMullen, Chairman of Cheers! Let SC Decide. "It should be more convenient for consumers to purchase liquor on Sundays - just like beer and wine - instead of crossing state lines, keeping revenue, jobs, and opportunity right here in our state."

This economic analysis bolsters previous research that found an overwhelming number of South Carolinians agree voters should have the opportunity to vote on Sunday sales of liquor in their county – and that's on top of nearly 75% of voters in the state who already support beer, wine, and liquor being regulated the same way. Ballot measures on Sunday beer and wine sales have been approved by the state legislature countless times.

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