Wyo Liquor

2019 Legislative Summary

Bills supported by the WSLA that have passed into law:

SF 113 (Retail purchases of alcoholic liquor for resale) allows for “retail to retail” sales for alcohol retailers, provided the seller is licensed for off-premise sales.  Purchases for retail resale will be tax exempt with completion of a form that will be provided by the Wyoming Liquor Division.  Sales will be capped at one case per week, per purchasing retailer.  WSLA supported, and SF 113 is effective July 1, 2019.

SF 138 (Malt beverage and catering permits- fees) decreases the maximum fee for catering and malt beverage permits from $100 to $50.  WSLA supported, and the bill is effective July 1, 2019.

HB 212 (Alcoholic beverages – business flexibility) allows Wyoming alcohol retailers to hold a distillery permit, and allows distilleries to hold a retail liquor license.  This was already allowed for the other two manufacturers permits, microbreweries and wineries, and this bill allows that right to distilleries.  WSLA supported, and HB 212 is effective immediately.

HB 76  (Wyoming Beer Freedom Act) allows microbreweries to hold a malt beverage permit.  Prior to this, any individual could get these permits, even if it were for the microbrewery, so this bill just allows them to “officially” do it.  The WSLA worked with the bill sponsor to amend the bill to specify that the sales from the permits are limited to their manufactured product.  With the amendment, the WSLA supported.  This bill is effective July 1, 2019.

HB 77 (Cigarette tax administration) was not a tax increase, but amended the description of the tax rate and conformed the distribution of the tax.  WSLA supported, and the bill is effective July 1, 2019.

HB 219 (Alcoholic beverages – 24 hour permit) allows Wyoming distilleries to hold 12 “manufacturer’s off-premises permits” annually for promotion and sales.  The WSLA opposed the original bill which allowed distilleries to hold catering permits (currently only allowed by Full Retail and Resort liquor licensees,) but after working with the bill sponsor and the distilleries, it was amended to the current form, which the WSLA supported.  This bill is effective July 1, 2019.

SF 51 (Tobacco tax equivalence) provides for the state to enter into negotiations with the business council of the Eastern Shoshone tribe and the business council of the Northern Arapaho tribe for tobacco tax equivalence across the state.  WSLA supported, and this bill is effective immediately.

SF 140 (Alcoholic beverages – direct sales) allows Wyoming distilleries to “self distribute” their own manufactured product to their own satellite location provided it is on the distillery premises.  The 17.6% wholesale mark-up and excise taxes will still be remitted to the state.  WSLA supported, and SF 140 is effective July 1, 2019.

 

SF 73 (Lottery revisions) clarifying the calculation and disposition of expenses and proceeds of the Wyoming lottery and specifies benefits for employees of the lottery. It also creates requirements for procurement contracts and the use of the fidelity fund, revises requirements related to unclaimed prize money and modifies reporting requirements.  WSLA supported, and SF 73 is effective July 1, 2019.

HB 69  (Collection of sales tax by marketplace facilitators) requires marketplace facilitators to collect and remit sales tax to the state.  WSLA supported, and the bill is effective July 1, 2019.

Bills of interest to the Wyoming State Liquor Association that failed to make it:

HB 162 (Alcoholic liquors markup amount) would have increased the wholesale markup on wine and spirits from the Wyoming Liquor Division from 17.6% to 20.6%.  WSLA opposed.  Killed in House Revenue Committee.

HB 218 (Tobacco tax) would have increased the tax on cigarettes from 60 cents/pack to $1.60/pack, and would have increased the tax on other tobacco products by over double.  WSLA opposed.  Killed in House Revenue Committee.

HB 282 (Tobacco products) would have clarified tobacco sales for remote sellers, and set up taxation for tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and e-vapor products.  Although the WSLA doesn’t oppose the regulation of remote sellers or fair taxation on other tobacco products that aren’t currently taxed, we felt that this bill needed more work to find a more effective method for doing so, and this issue will be an Interim topic for the Joint Revenue Committee.  WSLA opposed.  Died without Senate Labor Committee vote.

HB 296 (Cigarette tax) would have doubled the state excise tax on cigarettes from 60 cents/pack to $1.20/pack.  WSLA opposed.  Died without House Appropriations Committee vote.

HB 206 (Video skill games) established the regulation of video skill games by the Wyoming Liquor Division, and set rules, penalties, and background checks.  This bill was parked in favor of HB 284 (Video skill games – 2).  WSLA supported.  Died without Committee hearing

HB 284 (Video skill games – 2) would have created regulation of video skill games by the Wyoming Lottery Corporation; and set rules, penalties, and background checks.  WSLA supported.  Killed on House Committee of the Whole.

HB 186 (Out-of-state shipments of manufactured wine – tax) would have decreased the markup on direct shipment wine sales to the Wyoming Liquor Division from 12% to 8% WSLA opposed.  Died without Committee hearing.

SF 132 (Wyoming gaming commission) would have created the Wyoming Gaming Commission, created administration, licensure, fees, revenue distribution and penalties, and also allowed for certain alcohol businesses to have two gaming devices as well as licensure and regulation of bingo and pull tabs.  Although this bill failed, it will become an Interim topic for the Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee.  WSLA supported.  Killed in Senate Travel Committee.

 

HB 273 (Minimum Wage) would have increased the Wyoming minimum wage to $8.50/hour, and would have incrementally increased that minimum was 25 cents/year until 2025.  WSLA opposed.  Killed on House Committee of the Whole.

HB 281 (Wyoming lottery – gross proceeds) would have channeled 2 ½% of the Wyomng lottery gross proceeds to the school foundation program reserve account.  WSLA opposed.  Killed on House Committee of the Whole.

HB 291 (Alcoholic beverages – licensing authority powers) would have prohibited licensing authorities from restricting the issuance of alcoholic and malt beverages pursuant to local zoning ordinances.  WSLA supported.  Killed on Senate 3rd Reading.

SF 52 (Special permits for alcoholic beverages – exception) would have allowed for the free distribution of alcohol by businesses.  SF 52 was withdrawn by the bill sponsor who introduced SF 138 (Malt beverage and catering permits- fees) which the WSLA supported (see above).  WSLA opposed.  SF 52 was withdrawn.

HB 66 (Lodging Tax) would have instituted a 5% tax on lodging in Wyoming to fund the Department of Tourism.  3% will go to the state for tourism funding, and 2% would go to the counties for their efforts.  In counties with a lodging tax higher than 2%, any additional amount would still need approved by the voters.  Killed on Senate 3rd Reading.