The spokesperson for the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division says it’s hard to predict how many Iowa convenience stores would start selling hard liquor, if a proposal easing the restrictions on the stores for those sales becomes law. A bill that passed in the House would no longer require convenience stores to have a separate area in the store to sell the hard liquor.
IABD spokesperson, Tanya Dusold, says not all of the state’s 2,200 convenience stores would get the new license, especially if there’s already a liquor store or grocery store selling distilled spirits nearby.
“If somebody can already get it right across the street are you going to make enough sales to find the space, pay the license fee, and deal with all of that,” Dusold says. She estimates around 200 stores would get the new class of license if the legislature agrees to the change.
Dusold says, “I think that a lot of them will keep the beer and wine. It won’t be financially beneficial to bring on the spirits.” Dusold says the license fees would average over $4,000. The change could mean as much as $2.5-million in new revenue to the state from new license fees and taxes on liquor sales based on an estimated 200 new licenses.
The bill passed the House without debate and has gone to the Senate.