08 Nov Sunset Staff Report – TABC Continued For 12 Years?
The hundred-page Sunset Commission staff report of the TABC is comprehensive. Here are the highlights from my first blush of the issues and their recommendations.
- Issue 1 – Continue TABC for twelve years and enlarge and strengthen a weak Board.
- Issue 2 – Modernize licensing processing by reducing the number of licenses/permits and eliminate distinctions between ale and beer.
- Issue 3 – Stop over burdensome regulation, for example, moving Beer to Credit Law, eliminating Cash law and reducing outdoor advertising laws.
- Issue 4 – Completely overhaul the protest policy and pass rules allowing for transparency.
- Issue 5 – Strengthen the effectiveness of Enforcement by allowing penalties based on profits allowing the agency to determine when a civil penalty is allowed in lieu of hard shutdowns.
- Issue 6 – Ports of Entry program and import tax to be eliminated as the public safety benefit is not worth its cost.
- Issue 7 – Update statute to reflect the required standard language in areas like training of Board members.
The recommendation to continue the agency for 12 years is a sigh of relief for employees and many industry folks. While reducing the number of licenses/permits is no surprise, eliminating the distinction between ale and beer is getting mixed reviews along with the changes that come with it.
I can’t imagine anyone having issues with making the protest policy more transparent while penalties based on profits and hard shutdowns, will be an interesting discussion with difference in opinions.
I was disappointed in Issue 6, titled “The High Cost of Collecting Alcohol Import Taxes at the Border Outweighs the Negligible Public Safety Benefit.” This issue concludes with a recommendation of repealing the alcohol import tax and eliminating TABC’s ports of entry tax collection program (POE). POE is a program comprised of hard working and dedicated people who provide public safety and play a critical role in making the alcohol marketplace a more balanced environment.
I look forward to hearing your opinions and concerns. My next article will examine Issue and Recommendation One, so stay tuned!
Let us know your opinions in the comments below.