Are Alcohol-Related Law Changes on the Horizon in New York?

Are Alcohol-Related Law Changes on the Horizon in New York?

New York Governor Hochul released her 2023 State of the State briefing book in January, outlining the work and plans required to achieve the New York dream. Almost at the end of the document – pages 260 and 261 to be exact – there’s a section on rewriting New York’s Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) Law.

To summarize this section of the Governor’s brief, the 90-year-old law has grown organically since prohibition ended resulting in many inconsistencies that make it hard to understand, much less comply with regulations. Concurrently, the governor “will advance a policy-neutral rewrite of the existing ABC Law, in order to improve legibility and understanding of the existing law, and to foster a clearer conversation in the future about any proposed reforms.”

Spectrum News 1 reported, “How those laws change could have a wide-ranging effect on both businesses from restaurants to distributors as well as consumers themselves.” The news channel also noted that the governor is open to change, as seen by her backing of a pandemic-era order allowing patrons to take alcohol to go.

Her momentum carried through to 2022 year-end when, according to, the Governor “signed legislation to update the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law and authorize the New York State Liquor Authority to grant eligible catering facilities a license to serve liquor at weddings, banquets or other functions held at off-site locations.”

As part of her briefing book discussion on New York’s ABC Law, the Governor noted that the New York Commission to Study Reform of the ABC Law is continuing its work. News10 explained the Commission was enacted as part of the 2023 New York State budget to modernize the state’s liquor laws. The 21-person Commission, led by Chairman of the State Liquor Authority Vincent Bradley, will recommend changes and any motion receiving a majority vote will be reviewed for possible legislative action.

By May 1 of this year, the Commission’s report is due and will address “impact of the alcohol industry on the state; development in the law and SLA resources to speed license application processing; and business reform and modernization proposals.”

The NY Liquor Authority website notes, “To garner comment on the items that will be discussed, the State Liquor Authority has created a dedicated email address. Industry stakeholders, community groups, and other interested parties are encouraged to share their comments with the Commission here:”

Concurrent with the Governor’s actions, the NYS Senate and Assembly, introduced an amendment on January 31 to “amend the tax law, in relation to the amount of credit for
cider, wine, and liquor under the alcoholic beverage production credit” and “provide parity with beer credit based on the taxes for cider, wine, and liquor.” According to, a new proposed credit ranges from $.14 to $6.44 per gallon, depending on type of liquor and alcohol content.

You can find more information on New York State taxes, exemptions and credits for the producing, blending, distilling, rectifying and bottling of beer, cider, wine and liquor on NY’s Department of Taxation and Finance website.

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more about proposed alcohol law changes in New York State and at the Federal level (i.e., changes to the Craft Beverage Modernization Act provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 transferred “responsibility for administering refunds, reducing tax rates, and tax credits on imported alcohol from U.S. Customs and Border Protection to the U.S. Department of the Treasury effective January 1, 2023”.)

As you consider possible implications on your business, you can depend on RBT CPAs to help lighten your workload. We’re one of the largest CPA firms serving the Hudson Valley and beyond for over 50 years. We believe we succeed when we help you succeed. To find out more about our accounting, tax, audit, and advisory services, give us a call.

Please Note: RBT CPAs is a CPA firm – not law. We are providing the information above for informational purposes only; please do not construe it as legal advice. As always, if you need legal advice, please contact your local legal counsel.