SAN FRANCISCO, May 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Governor Rick Perry yesterday signed SB 877, a bill authored by State Senator Frank Madla (D-San Antonio), which opens Texas by declaring the entire state "wet" for wine shipments. In late 2003, the Texas ABC declared that the state was "open" for direct shipments but ruled that all wineries must comply with existing wet/dry rules. This compliance requirement, since it could not be delineated based on zip codes or other standard geographic boundaries, had stymied the efforts of wineries to ship to Texas consumers. SB 877 solves this problem by declaring the entire state "wet" for wine shipments. "We applaud Governor Perry, Senator Madla and the entire Texas legislature for addressing this problem and opening up the great state of Texas to the legal, regulated direct shipping of wine to consumers," said Robert P. Koch, President and CEO of the Wine Institute. "Declaring the entire state of Texas 'wet' for wine shipments is a strong signal of support for the local Texas wine industry and for consumer choice." The bill was passed overwhelmingly by the Senate in March and passed unanimously by the House last week. Wineries that obtain both a $75 annual Out-Of-State Wine Shipper's Permit and a Texas sales tax permit will be able to ship up to three gallons per month to any individual in the state, and must pay Texas state sales and excise taxes. The state TABC has 90 days to prepare the required forms and formalize regulations, but they have stated that wineries may begin shipping wine immediately, and will not be required to have the licenses and comply with reporting requirements until they are available within 90 days. Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group for 839 California wineries and affiliated businesses that account for 85 percent of U.S. wine production. Since 1985, the organization has worked on legislative and regulatory solutions for direct-to-consumer wine shipping.
SOURCE Wine Institute