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Sunday Liquor Sales Debated In Minn.

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By James Schugel, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Most of us have been there. It’s Sunday, and you want a beer, but you’re out.

Any other day you could just make a beer run, but not on Sunday, not in Minnesota.

Every year $10.6 million drains out of Minnesotans pockets and into Wisconsin tax revenues, all of it from Sunday beer sales.

So why doesn’t Minnesota just sell beer on Sundays? There are a lot of reasons. For one, some liquor store owners just don’t want it.

“On Sundays, I attend church at times. I like to spend time with my family,” said Vernon Crowe who owns Selby Wines and Spirits in St. Paul.

He’s not in love, as he explains it, with a new proposal from Minnesota State Sen. Roger Reinert (DFL), who represents Duluth. He has brought up a bill that would allow Sunday liquor sales. It would also allow Thanksgiving Day sales.

“You know, Wisconsin got a win with the Packers in the Super Bowl,” he said. “I’m not sure we need to give them another win by sending all of our Minnesota tax dollars over there as well on Super Bowl Sunday.”

That $10.6 million number translates into about $200,000 tax dollars every Sunday.

“I would love to stop losing revenue, losing company,” said Crowe, who said he would support the idea if it would help Minnesota stores near the Wisconsin border.

But on the other side of the St. Croix River, Jana Gaffer hopes the proposal never passes.

“We do wonderful on Sundays. It’s a good day! A very good day for us,” she said, laughing, from her store Historic Casanova Liquor. “The people who purchase on Sundays are from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul area and a lot are from outlying areas.”

This border battle will continue between these store owners, until the bill passes or it’s shot down at the Capitol in St. Paul.

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