New York Alcoholic Beverage Laws Changed in October: What Do Changes Mean to You?

New York Alcoholic Beverage Laws Changed in October: What Do Changes Mean to You?

Earlier this year, we reported on Governor Hochul’s Commission to Study Reform of the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC Law) in an attempt to modernize the state’s liquor laws (some of which purportedly date back to the end of the Prohibition Era in 1933). In May of this year, the commission released a 192-page report containing proposed changes, but the state’s legislative session ended without any updates. That changed in mid-October when Governor Hochul signed a handful of bills.

On October 14, Governor Hochul amended six pieces of legislation that took effect immediately, including:

  • Legislation S.2854/A.7305 Expands Hours of Operation for Liquor and Wine Stores on Sundays Up until the change, liquor stores were limited to open at 12 p.m. Starting October 16th, sales are allowed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., leveling the playing field with bars and restaurants. (This is one of the 18 changes recommended by Governor Hochul’s Commission in May.)
  • Legislation S.5731/A.6941 Allows for the Retail Sale of Beer on Sundays Now, beer, mead, braggot, and cider may be sold any day of the week, including Sunday. (Previously, sales for off-premises consumption were not allowed between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Sundays.)
  • Legislation S.6443/A.6135 Lengthens the Duration of a Brewer’s License Previously, brewers were required to renew their license once a year. Now, that law has been updated to require renewal once every three years, reducing administrative burdens on brewers, while promoting equity between brewers and other alcohol producers that were only required to renew once every three years.
  • Legislation S.3364A/A.2902 Authorizes the Use of a Pressurized Mixing and Dispensing System So businesses can prepare and keep drinks that contain alcohol in pressurized dispensing machines.
  • Legislation S.3567A/A.6050A Permits the Sale or Promotional Gifting of Certain Complementary Products for Wine and Spirits As a result, retail stores can sell complementary gift and promotional items related to wine and spirit sales.
  • Legislation S.6993A/A.7688 Relates to Licensing Restrictions for On-Premises Alcohol Consumption for Manufacturers and Wholesalers of Alcoholic Beverages at Specific Locations This expands the list of premises exempt from laws restricting manufacturers/wholesalers and retailers from having a shared interest in a liquor license.

(It is important to note that some counties may have stricter rules. It is always in your best interest to consult legal counsel with questions.)

In the press release announcing the legislative changes, Governor Hochul said, “Across New York, breweries, distilleries, and other alcoholic beverage businesses are creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity. I’m proud to sign this legislation that will modernize the laws governing the sales of alcoholic beverages in New York.”

We hope your business benefits from these changes and that there will be more to come. Stay tuned! In the meantime, please remember RBT CPAs is here to help with your accounting, tax, audit, or business advisory needs. Interested in learning more? Give us a call today.


RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

Plan for Pension Contribution Increases in Your Budget

Plan for Pension Contribution Increases in Your Budget

When the 2024-2025 budget season gets underway, be sure to account for increases in New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) employer contribution rates.

The NYSLRS is made up of the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS). The two systems pay retirement and disability benefits for state and local public employees, as well as death benefits to survivors. With a funding ratio of 90.3%, the NYSLRS is ranked among the best funded retirement systems.

On August 31, NYS Comptroller Thomas P DiNapoli announced increases to employer contribution rates for the 2024-2025 State Fiscal Year. For the ERS, average employer contribution rates will increase from 13.1% to 15.2% of payroll, adding about $350 million to 2024 pension costs. For the PFRS, average employer contribution rates will increase from 27.8% to 31.2%, its highest level since 1981.

The increases are attributable to investment performance, higher salaries, and inflation. The impact by employer varies, depending on the types of retirement benefit plans adopted, salaries paid, and distribution of employees among six membership tiers.

According to the Empire Center for Public Policy, Inc., an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank based in Albany, New York, “The combined ERS and PFRS rate increases will cost the state government about $500 million, most of which is already covered by pension estimates in Governor Hochul’s Enacted Budget Financial Plan.”

For additional information and insights into defined benefit funding and budgeting:

Simultaneously, accounting for expected 6.5% increases in average health care premiums increases for active and retiree populations will no doubt add to budget challenges. See’s discussion about it here.

If this leaves you thinking: “There has to be a better way,” check out the GFOA’s Rethinking Initiatives, especially when it comes to Rethinking Budgeting.

Finally, if all of this is just too much, we want to make sure you know RBT CPAs is available to advise on budgeting, while also handing your municipality’s accounting, audit, and tax needs. To learn more, give us a call today.


RBT CPAs do not outsource work to any other country. All of our work is prepared in the U.S.A.

HOTMA Sections 102 and 104 Guidance Provides Breathing Room for Implementation

HOTMA Sections 102 and 104 Guidance Provides Breathing Room for Implementation

On September 29, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued Notice PIH 2023-17 guidance for Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) Sections 102 and 104. Among other things, implementation deadlines have been updated.

As stated in the notice, “Sections 102 and 104 of HOTMA make sweeping changes to the United States Housing Act of 1937 (1937 Act), particularly those affecting income calculations and reviews. Section 102 changes requirements related to income reviews for Public Housing and Section 8 programs. Section 104 sets maximum asset limits for Public Housing and Section 8 applicants and participants.”

A detailed final rule was published in Federal Register Notice 88 FR 9600 on February 14, 2023. The recent notice issued on September 29th provides implementation guidance for Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) and Multifamily Housing (MFH) Owners.

For covered PHAs and HUD-assisted MFH Owners, the final HOTMA rule effective date is January 1, 2024, with full compliance mandated by January 1, 2025. (Previously, January 1, 2024 was the deadline.) The delayed timeframe is due to HUD’s recognition of the time required for software compliance and the fact that there are new additions to programs on an ongoing basis.

Per the guidance:

  • Each PHA will set its own compliance date between January 1, 2024 and January 1, 2025, based on when its annual plan is due to HUD.
  • Each MFH owner is required to update Tenant Selection Plans and income verification policies and procedures by March 31, 2024. In addition, Tenant Selection Plans must be publicly available as of March 31, 2024. (Refer to the List of Discretionary Policies to Implement HOTMAso you can state where you are exercising discretion in the Tenant Selection Plans.)
    MFH Owners have until January 1, 2025 to achieve full compliance. Until then, if there are any HOTMA-related tenant file errors during Management and Occupancy Reviews (MORs), observations and corrective actions will be issued. Failure to take corrective action or to implement HOTMA by January 1, 2025 may result in the owner being found in default of business agreements with HUD.

For more information, be sure to review Notice PIH 2023-17, especially Section 6 for additional compliance deadlines and activities. For additional resources – including a quick start guide, forms, training, and more – visit the HOTMA page on

If you need to free up time to focus on HOTMA compliance, you can count on RBT CPAs to handle all of your accounting, audit, and tax needs. To learn more, give us a call today.

RBT CPAs does not outsource work to any other country. All of our work is prepared in the U.S.A.


Please Note: RBT CPAs is an accounting, audit, tax and business advisory firm. We are not a law firm and the information provided should not be construed as advice. As always, if you need legal counsel, it’s in your best interest to contact a law firm.