Liquor Authority Starts Process to Adopt New Split Case Fee Rule

After approving the action last month, the State Liquor Authority’s proposed new split case fee rule was published in the June 29th NYS Register, formally initiating a 60-day period for the public to comment on the proposal. As we reported in the last issue and as the Albany Times Union has also reported, the Authority is proposing to establish a cap on split case fees charged by wine & liquor wholesalers of $7.39 per case (or 62 cents per bottle in a 12-bottle case) compared to the current split case fees charged by Empire ($30.00 per case) and Southern ($36.00 per case fee).

Now that the public comment period has begun it’s important that the State Liquor Authority hear from those of you who will benefit from this change. In a brief note tell the Liquor Authority:

Your name

Name of your business

Where your business is located

How long you’ve been in business

How many people you employ

How adopting this new rule will benefit you

The most common examples of how this new rule might benefit you include lower costs and greater flexibility to stock limited items. A tavern that buys one split case from each major wholesaler each week will pay about $3,500 in split cases fees over the course of a year. Imagine what you can do with that money in your pocket. Similarly, if you won’t be surcharged several dollars on each bottle in a split case, it’s more affordable (and more likely) that you’ll order more diverse products providing greater options for your patrons.

It’s very important we fill the SLA’s mailbox with comments from small business owners supporting this change. You can send your comments via email to [email protected] or you can send a letter the old-fashioned way to:

Paul Karamanol

Senior Attorney

State Liquor Authority

80 South Swan Street

Suite 900

Albany, NY 12210

The Liquor Authority will also hold a public hearing on the proposed split case fee cap as part of their regular Full Board Meeting on September 14th. In addition to submitting written comments supporting the proposed split case fee cap, you can appear at the SLA Board Meeting and make comments as part of the public hearing. The State Liquor Authority meeting takes place in New York City, but you can participate remotely from their Albany or Buffalo office. It’s a simple process. Contact our office for more information about submitting comments or appearing at the public hearing.