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Proposal to Extend Alcohol Sales Hours Could Be In Trouble

Council considers extending bar hours, Sunday liquor sales

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    A proposal to extend bar hours in the District and to allow Sunday liquor store sales appears to be headed for trouble.

    Today, Council Chairman Kwame Brown and Ward 1 Council member Jim Graham both said the city doesn't need to make alcohol more available.

    “I had only suggested this as a possibility in terms of gathering monies necessary to help avoid the extended bar hours," said Graham, who chairs the committee that oversees city alcohol sales. "Since we are not able to really resolve that with these Sunday hours, I have no intention of supporting Sunday liquor sales.”

    Graham recommended instead, increasing the excise tax on alcohol, which has not been increased since 1990. The current D.C. excise tax on alcohol mirrors the one imposed by Maryland, which has not been increased since 1955.

    “If we increased the excise tax so there would be an additional six cents per drink, we would gain $20 million for essential DC government programs,” Graham said.

    Mayor Vincent Gray proposed changes to raise more city revenue.

    The council will vote on the proposals in the coming weeks.