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  • Thursday, May 25, 2017 6:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    House Bill 2277 will allow cities and counties to create year-round entertainment areas where alcoholic beverages can be consumed outside of drinking establishments, in common consumption areas.  

    Read a summary of the bill here.

    The bill was passed by the House on Tuesday, May 24, on a vote of 97-22.  The bill was passed and amended by the Senate May 16 35-5 - where it gained a couple of amendments.  

    An amendment by Senator Rob Olson removes the current ten-day waiting period for private club memberships.

    An amendment by Senator Jeff Longbine clarifies that distributors may require minimum order quantities for beer - as passed in the beer bill Sub for SB 13 earlier this session.  The former language allowed minimum orders for alcoholic liquor, which technically include wine and spirits.  This clarifies that ordering rules will not change for wine and spirits.

    The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature or veto.

    Wine Tasting Rules Discussion Scheduled

    There are many retailers who are interested in seeing changes to the rules for wine tastings.  Several stores have asked for the ability to charge for hosting educational tasting events.  

    If you are interested in exploring possible changes to current rules for conducting wine tastings, please contact Amy Campbell here.  We hope to host a meeting to exchange ideas on June 7 in Topeka - so please contact us by June 2.


  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017 2:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Tax Debate Set Aside

    The House will not debate the latest version of Sub for SB 30 today, and many say it won't be debated at all.

    We heard this morning that there were problems with the bill and ultimately, the plan to debate taxes today was set aside.  The House went ahead with its debate on K-12 Education, with rumors of 90 amendments in the wings.  Legislative staff have suggested that today's education debate could set a record for amendments drafted.

    At this point, we do not know if it was the liquor enforcement tax that derailed the Tax conference committee report - but hopefully our arguments were persuasive enough to keep enforcement tax increases out of the next tax proposal.

    Rumors have been swirling that House leadership may have told legislators that the liquor industry was in favor of increasing the enforcement tax up to 10%.  It is difficult to imagine this.  Some legislators said they were told it would only affect customers purchasing drinks, i.e. the drink tax.  Also inaccurate. 

    Perhaps the details of liquor taxes have been forgotten since the hearings were held in February, but that is the risk of throwing new items into conference committees that have not passed either chamber.  

    Liquor taxes may or may not be a part of future packages - we will just have to see.  Regardless, we hope that retailers have made certain that their legislators know where they stand - especially those who must compete with Missouri retailers.  

    The increased income taxes that have been a part of virtually every tax proposal this session will already add to the costs of our small businesses - a targeted tax on the products we sell would be piling on.

    Just to be certain, a joint industry letter was circulated to legislators.  Read the contents of that letter below:

    Please Oppose CC Report on SB 30

    The Tax Conference Committee Report on SB 30, adopted last night includes a 25% increase in the liquor enforcement tax – from 8 to 10 percent.     We would urge you to vote NO !!

    1.         After extensive hearings, there was no support in House Tax Committee for an increase in liquor taxes.

    2.         Its inclusion clearly violates Joint Rule 3(f) prohibiting a CC report from including subject matters that have not passed either house.    

    3.         This 25% increase in the enforcement tax would most heavily impact retail liquor stores and particularly those near our borders – stores already heavily impacted by the recent enactment of SB 13.

    Please vote NO!!!!!

    Amy Campbell -   Kansas Assn of Beverage Retailers

    Scott Schneider/Jason Watkins -   Kansas Beer Wholesalers Assn,   Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Assn

    Whitney Damron -   Kansas Assn for Responsible Liquor Laws

    Brad Smoot -   Distilled Spirits Council 

    Aaron Mays -   Standard Beverage

    Philip Bradley -   Kansas License Beverage Assn,   Kansas Craft Brewers Guild,   Kansas Viticulture and Farm Winery Assn,   Artisan Distillers of Kansas

    Larrie Ann Brown -   Wine Institute

    John Bottenberg -   MillerCoors

    Jim Dorsey -   Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits

    John Peterson -   Anheuser-Busch Companies


    **********************************************************
    Contact: Amy Campbell  785-969-1617

     

      

                                           


  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017 7:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


     TODAY: Please Oppose Conference Committee Report on SB 30

    The Tax Conference Committee Report on SB 30, adopted at the 7:30 p.m. meeting last night,, includes a 25% increase in the liquor enforcement tax – from 8 to 10 percent.   This tax increase has not passed either chamber and should not be part of this conference committee report.   The House plans to vote TODAY.

    • After extensive hearings, there was no support in House Tax Committee for an increase in liquor taxes.
    • Its inclusion clearly violates Joint Rule 3(f) prohibiting a CC report from including subject matters that have not passed either house.    
    • This 25% increase in the enforcement tax would most heavily impact retail liquor stores and particularly those near our borders – stores already heavily impacted by the recent enactment of SB 13.
    • The new description of Sub for SB 30 is not yet posted, as it was just adopted last night.  It includes increasing enforcement tax rate from 8% to 10%, increased income tax rates, revoking LLC exemptiion, revoking the sales tax exemption on some services.

    Please Act Immediately -

    Reach out to the members of the House of Representatives.  Emails and phone calls are helpful.  See article below about the tax bill that failed on Monday. 

    Link to List of Representatives

    Find your State Representative at https://votesmart.org/  - enter your zip code and street address to find your State Representative and State Senator

    NOTE: Secretaries for rank and file legislators were not funded past the 90th Day - so, some office answering machines are not being monitored. In those cases, you may need to send an email or call the mobile phone, if yoou have that number.


     

      

                                           


  • Thursday, May 04, 2017 3:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Today, Congress passed the AHCA repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with a partisan vote of 217-213. The bill will go to the Senate.  It is expected to be amended in the Senate.

    The legislation would offer tax credits instead of subsidies to pay for health coverage.  It allows states to opt out of basic requirements established by the ACA, including essential health benefits, coverage for preexisting conditions, etc. It requires states to provide high risk pools to cover those with preexisting conditions, if the state chooses to opt out and offers some funding that could be used to help pay for that and health services not covered. 

    The legislation changes the current cost equalization formula, allowing premiums to be lower for young people and higher for older adults.  Medicaid would no longer be funded according to beneficiaries’ needs – it would be paid on a per member basis or states could accept a limited block grant for their program.  Kansas state officials have been talking about a Medicaid block grant for over a year, hoping that would help them to eliminate the annual cost increases to the program.  (It is not clear how annual health care cost increases would be managed if the funding does not grow at a comparable rate.)

    The legislation attempts to encourage policyholders to avoid lapses in coverage by requiring a 30% surcharge when policies lapse.  (This, of course, assumes that people have some choice in whether or not their policies lapse.)  

    The bill will repeal the payroll tax and investment tax increases on higher income payors that were designed to help pay for the ACA.

    Kansas delegation in U.S. House unanimously votes for partial Obamacare repeal, http://cjonline.com/news/local/2017-05-04/kansas-delegation-us-house-unanimously-votes-partial-obamacare-repeal

    Read an article about what is in the AHCA legislation  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/04/us/politics/major-provisions-republican-health-care-bill.html?_r=0


  • Thursday, May 04, 2017 3:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee will hear HB 2277 establishing common consumption areas tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.

    Taxes Dominate 1st Week of Veto Session

    This afternoon, the House Tax Committee hosted an overview of the budget bills as they are currently proposed by the House Appropriations Committee in order to compare how the multiple tax proposals that have been considered measure up against the spending priorities set up to this point.  Those numbers did not include a House Education funding proposal to address the recent Supreme Court decision citing inadequate state funding for K-12 education, but the committee estimated it could cost an additional $170 million in FY 18 and $350 m in FY 19.  It also did not include a proposal to reduce the planned fund transfers from the Department of Transportation – the Governor’s Budget Amendments recommend transferring all of the available funds from KDOT to balance the budget for the next two years.  Once those numbers were rolled in with the work of the House Appropriations Committee, the target seemed to be around $600 million or more.  There was further discussion of income tax rates, motor fuels tax, tobacco taxes, removing sales tax exemptions from various services, and other strategies.

    This is the first time we have seen a tax committee meeting in which those targets are set out before the committee.  It was designed to show committee members what they can – and can’t – accomplish with their current income tax bill.  So far, the House Tax Committee has preferred proposals that focus on multiple income tax tiers and rolling back the LLC exemption, like the bill passed in February that was vetoed by Governor Brownback – but do not appear to raise enough revenue to cover everything discussed today.

    Rep. Ken Corbet argued that increasing motor fuels tax and tobacco taxes would simply disadvantage current business owners – especially those who compete along the Missouri border – “it is a double smack against all of those who try to have a business on the border.  If we keep this up, it looks like Kansas making Missouri great again and I think we need to think about that.”

    Rep. Tom Burroughs agreed, pointing out that simply rolling back all of the pieces of the 2012 tax changes would resolve the budget hole - rather than piecing together a bunch of new tax increases.  “I think this is the wrong route to take.  If this budget crisis was caused by previous legislatures, then we need to go back and right the ship.  If the 2012 tax plan is a failure, let’s go back and look at the 2012 tax numbers and see where that puts us.”  Corbet is not a fan of revoking the 2012 tax plan.

    On another floor of the Capitol, the Senate Taxation Committee was compiling another tax proposal, including a form of flat tax with the lowest income Kansans (under $6300 for single filers and $12600 for married) paying 0% and everyone else paying 4.4%.  The plan would eliminate the current exemptions for LLCs and non-wage income January 1, 2018.  Many of the plans rejected to date have tried to make the tax increases retroactive to January 1, 2017.  The plan would also reduce the sales tax on food from 6.5% to 5.5%  This plan was proposed by first term Senator Larry Alley.

    So far this week, the Tax conference committee has rolled out two income tax increase proposals with multiple tax tiers, also revoking the LLC and non-wage income exemptions, along with reinstating a number of the income tax deductions that have been eliminated.  Each time, the scheduled floor debate (Tuesday in the Senate and Wednesday in the House) was cancelled for lack of votes. 

    At this point, neither chamber has taken the steps that would be needed to consolidate support for a tax proposal either through a coalition of moderate and conservative Republicans or through a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats.  One stumbling block is that many want to see an education funding plan passed before agreeing on a revenue package.  There are those who feel the proposals so far have not raised enough money and those who feel they raise too much.  And there are those who will not vote for any increase, believing that not enough has been done to cut state spending.  Neither the Senate nor the House can claim they have the votes organized for any given plan – and meanwhile, the Governor has already vetoed the tax proposal that was adopted in February that looked similar to this week’s bills.

    On Tuesday, legislators were told to plan to work through the weekend.  That remains to be seen.  The veto session appears likely to last beyond the two week target.


     

      

                                           

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  • Friday, April 07, 2017 11:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Senate Passes Limited Beer Compromise

    The Senate concurred on House Substitute for SB 13 this morning with a vote of 27-11. The bill will go to the Governor.

    There were supportive comments from senators who said they were glad to see a compromise to the beer issue that has been around the Legislature for 30 years.  According to Senate President Susan Wagle, the corporate grocery and convenience stores have been putting a lot of pressure on the Senate to deal with liquor expansion, particularly in the past six years or so, but she has always insisted the Senate wouldn’t deal with it until the corporate big guys sat down with the liquor stores to form some kind of agreement.

    Senator Anthony Hensley, leader of the minority party, stated his strong opposition to the process. Hensley protested that the bill did not have any hearings in the Senate and now – as a motion to concur – did not allow any opportunities for amendments.  He stated that the impact of beer sales in the grocery and convenience stores will be a hardship for liquor stores and he is concerned about the survival of some of the small businesses in his district.

    Several senators emphasized that the ten year moratorium on further liquor expansion legislation was very important to them, including Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, who asked the carrier of the bill, Senator Julia Lynn, to verify the ten years.

    Senator Lynn Rogers entered the following explanation of vote into the record:

    “I am voting yes on SB 13 today because small businesses in my District have asked me to.  These small businesses provide the livelihood to over 150 individuals or families who live in my district. Many of those owners were part of the discussion and deliberation process for SB 13 and reluctantly become proponents of compromise.  

    The 3 big box stores and multiple convenience stores in my district have told me they would simply add shelf space for product and not hire additional staff if major changes were made to our liquor laws. While access to liquor & wine in these kind of stores would be convenient, it would have meant fewer jobs and businesses for District 25.

    I'm glad these small businesses were part of the process on this bill because this body was not. With no hearing in our Chamber & only finding out about the compromise in the last couple days. I would have liked more time to hear from constituents.

    I hope the 10 year compromise evidenced by this legislation will be honored. I for one, will remember it clearly.”    

    Today is Drop Dead Day at the Kansas Legislature.  It is the First Adjournment deadline for wrapping up work on most bills before the Legislature takes a few weeks off.  Legislators will return to begin the Veto Session on May 1.

    *****************************************************
    PLEASE RSVP FOR KABR Meetings in Kansas City April 21-22-23 at THIS LINK.


  • Thursday, April 06, 2017 2:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Kansas Senate defeated  SB 214 decisively today after debating the bill all morning and another hour or so after lunch.  

    A motion by Senator Alley to send the bill back to committee failed.  That would have kept the bill alive for further committee amendments, but senators preferred to kill the bill.

    The bill would have changed Kansas income taxes to a 4.6% flat tax.  Current law provides for a two bracket system at 2.6% and 4.6%.  The bill also eliminates the LLC income tax exemption and reduces the sales tax on food by 1% in the first year.  Governor Brownback has indicated support for this plan, but there opposition cited the insufficient revenue raised by the bill.  Senator Hensley quoted the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, which said the bill would raise taxes on a majority of lower income Kansans.


  • Thursday, April 06, 2017 2:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The House of Representatives passed House Sub for SB 13 today after debating for about an hour.   The bill now goes to the Senate for action - probably tomorrow.

    Rep. Erin Davis carried the bill and characterized it as a good compromise between retailer organizations and proponents of Uncork.  Opponents argued that the bill would harm small liquor stores (KABR included this statement in communications to legislators) and the compromise was not worth it.  Surprisingly, there wasn't any talk about "convenience" or "free markets".  Most of the supporters talked about the merits of the compromise, the impending CMB "crisis" and the potential benefits for liquor stores selling other products.  More than one legislator said that this was a true compromise in the sense that none of the parties were happy with everything in the bill.  Many legislators are pleased that the bill delays implementation for two years and sets an expectation that further liquor expansion will be delayed beyond that time.

    Read the KABR message to House members here.

    There were a few comments about the retailers associations and whether or not small liquor stores were members.  Two legislators cited messages from retailers who criticized the association.  That is hard to hear for the liquor store owners who commit their time and energies to the association meetings and teleconferences while others do not - but it is important to understand that this is significant change, and it is moving quickly because of First Adjournment.  People who are not in the Statehouse all session and seeing the shifting positions firsthand should not be expected to be suddenly pleased with compromise.  The effects of this change will be felt by all liquor stores.  We have encouraged legislators to stand by their local liquor stores - positive or negative - on the vote.  

    Just before lunch, the House voted to send the bill to final action on a vote of 70 - 50,  with five not voting.  A motion to "emergency" the bill to final action failed before lunch, but was successful when they returned to session at 2:00 p.m.  The Final Action vote was 80-45.

    YES:   Alcala, Aurand, Awerkamp, Ballard, Barker, Becker, Bishop, Brim, Burroughs, Campbell, Carpenter, Claeys, Clark, Clayton, Cox, Davis, Deere, Delperdang, Dierks, Deitrich, Dove, Elliott, Eplee, Esau, Finney, Frownfelter, Gallagher, Gartner, Good, Hawkins, Hineman, Holscher, Humphries, Jennings, Johnson, Karleskint, Kelly, Kessinger, Koesten, Lakin, Landwehr, Lusk, Lusker, Markley, Mason, Murnan, Neighbor, Ohaebosim, Osterman, Ousley, Parker, Phelps, Phillips, Pittman, Proehl, Rafie, Resman, Rooker, Ruiz, Ryckman, Sawyer, Schreiber, Schwab, Seiwert, Sloan, Smith, Stogsdill, Sutton, Swanson, Tarwater, Terrell, Trimmer, Ward, Weigel, Whipple, Whitmer, Williams, Wilson, Winn, Wolfe-Moore

    NO: Alford, Arnberger, Baker, Blex, Carlin, Carmichael, Concannon, Corbet, Crum, Curtis, DeGraaf, Ellis, Finch, Francis, Garber, Helgerson, Henderson, Hibbard, Highberger, Highland, Hodge, Hoffman, Houser, Huebert, Jacobs, Jones, Judd-Jenkins, Kuether, Lewis, Mastroni, Miller, Orr, Patton, Powell, Rahjes, Ralph, Schroeder, Smith, Thimesch, Thompson, Vickrey, Victors, Waymaster, Weber, Wheeler


    Contact:   

    Brian Davis, President  316-990-1425  Email President

    Amy Campbell  785-969-1617   Email Lobbyist

                                          

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  • Thursday, April 06, 2017 7:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The House of Representatives is scheduled to debate House Sub for SB 13 today - that is the bill passed by the Commerce Committee on Tuesday.   The House convenes at 10:00 a.m.  You can listen at www.kslegislature.org House audio.

    KABR supports the compromise bill but has warned legislators that the compromise is harmful to many small businesses when CMB retailers begin selling beer up to 6% alcohol by volume April 1 2019 as prescribed in the legislation.  The compromise sets out multiple new rules regarding price nondiscrimination, changes the products that licensees are able to sell and is designed to establish a predictable regulatory marketplace for the near future.  

    It is a controversial issue for retailers.  The negotiated bill puts an end to the concerns about 3.2 products and the decreasing availability of these products without making corporate cmb retailers into liquor licensees.  Most agree that the options will not get better in the near future.  But there is an impact on retailers.

    The bill has generated a lot of interest and many legislators have commended the compromise.  At the same time, retailers are fortunate to have a strong number of legislators who are very concerned about the impact of the change on current retailers.

    Kansas Senate to Debate Flat Tax Today

    The Kansas Senate will try again to pass a tax plan this session before it goes on spring break Friday.  SB 214 would change Kansas income taxes to a 4.6% flat tax.  Current law provides for a two bracket system at 2.6% and 4.6%.  The bill also eliminates the LLC income tax exemption and reduces the sales tax on food by 1% in the first year.  Governor Brownback has indicated support for this plan, but there is opposition.  Many legislators say the plan doesn't raise enough money to cover the state's revenue needs, other oppose the measure because it will raise taxes for lower income Kansans.

    Contact:   

    Brian Davis, President  316-990-1425  Email President

    Amy Campbell  785-969-1617   Email Lobbyist


  • Wednesday, April 05, 2017 6:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Join retailers and legislators in Kansas City April 21-22-23 -  Learn about the 2017 Legislative Session liquor and tax legislation.  Be there to show that the decisions made in Topeka matter to all of us!  (There will not be a Kansas City meeting in August this year.)

    RSVP here:  Kansas City Retailers Conference and Legislative Luncheon 

    Please make your hotel reservations ASAP at Best Western Premier KC Speedway, 10401 France Family Drive, KC, KS 66111 913-334-4440.  Rooms are limited.

    Kansas City Retailers Conference and Legislative Luncheon Hotel Room Block and Sunday Board Mtg - Best Western Premier, 10401 France Family Drive, KC, KS 66111 913-334-4440 SEE EACH EVENT FOR LOCATIONS 
    Date: 21 Apr 2017 4:00 PM EDT 

    Kansas City Retailers Conference and Legislative Luncheon

    Friday, Saturday and Sunday - April 21-22-23, 2017

    SCHEDULE 

     

    FRIDAY SOCIAL with Legislators and Liquor Industry Members - AD ASTRA SELECTIONS 

    4:00 pm   - 7:00 pm      

     Ad Astra Selections, 9898 Pflumm Road, Lenexa, KS 66215

    SATURDAY LEGISLATORS LUNCHEON & ROUNDTABLE:

      

    12:00 - 1:30 pm   Legislators and Retailers Luncheon - Informal Roundtable with State Legislators.  

    Worldwide Wine and Spirits, LLC., 
    17501 W 98th Street #35 - 38, Lenexa, KS 66219

     

    News from the Kansas Legislature - liquor law changes and tax legislation updates.  Visit with area legislators.

     

    1:30 pm  - 3:00 pm   Retailers Strategy Session

    If you are a member of KABR, you should plan to attend.  Please send recommended agenda items to davisliquor2@cox.net

     

    Saturday Dinner:   

     

    6:30 - 8:30 p.m.  Dinner - Join other retailers for dinner - separate checks.

     

    SUNDAY EVENTS - 

     

    9:30am - 12:00 pm KABR Official Business Meeting of the Board of Directors 

    1st Floor Conference Room, Best Western KC Speedway Inn at the Legends

    All Members are Encouraged to Attend the Official Business Meeting.

     

    MAKE YOUR HOTEL RESERVATIONS AT BEST WESTERN PREMIER KC SPEEDWAY BY APRIL 7!  913-334-4440

     

    Kansas Liquor Retailers have achieved impressive success at the Kansas Legislature over the past eight years, and we have done so by working together.  Our greatest challenges are yet to come - join us! 

     

    THANK YOU EVENT HOSTS:

    AD ASTRA SELECTIONS
    WORLDWIDE WINE AND SPIRITS
    KANSAS WINE AND SPIRITS WHOLESALERS ASSOCIATION

     

    More information and online registration: Kansas City Retailers Conference and Legislative Luncheon 
    Special thanks to our sponsors:  Ad Astra Selections, Worldwide Wine and Spirits, and the Kansas Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Association.



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