Oklahoma City Liquor Retailer Criticizes Wine Commission Proposal

Longtime Oklahoma wine industry opponent Byron Gambulos, of Byron's Liquor Warehouse in OKC, is quoted in the Miami Herald attacking the effort to create an Oklahoma Wine and Grape Commission.
"If they pass that, they will penalize every consumer in the state of Oklahoma for the benefit of 35 wine growers"

Having spoken to Mr. Gambulos personally about carrying Oklahoma wines in his liquor stores, I can tell you he carries an extreme grudge against the entire emerging local wine industry. However, his almost religious belief that taxes are inherently oppressive and unfair is sure to play well in Oklahoma.

Big urban Liquor store owners aren't alone in their opposition, Kenneth Nance, who represents California wine industry lobbying group The Wine Institute, said:
"I think it is a ridiculous tax increase. An independent commission with $1 million with no supervision from anybody and them being able to spend it any way they want to."

Since everyone expects the brunt of that tax money will be collected from people who sell wine to Oklahomans from out of state, supporters of the new commission cannot expect much support outside of the Sooner State.

Terry Lewis, president of the Oklahoma Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association, said similar legislation has been passed in other states. Much of this money produced from the fees would be used for educating people on growing grapes and making wine. Terry has the Indian Creek Village Winery in Ringwood, Oklahoma.
"We're trying to help an industry get off the ground," said Sen. Harry Coates, R-Seminole, the author of the legislation.

Oklahoma City Liquor Retailer Criticizes Wine Commission Proposal

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