Coronavirus, Local, News

Bars Might Be Suffering During COVID-19, But Georgians Are Buying More Alcohol

According to the Georgia Department of Revenue, sales tax generated from alcohol in July 2020 was up nearly 25% compared to July 2019. 
According to the Georgia Department of Revenue, sales tax generated from alcohol in July 2020 was up nearly 25% compared to July 2019. 
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Lately most Atlanta bars haven’t been overflowing with patrons sipping on cocktails and browsing local craft beers.

But Georgia’s alcohol sales haven’t suffered overall during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Georgia Department of Revenue, sales tax generated from alcohol in July 2020 was up nearly 25% compared to July 2019.  In July 2020, the state generated more than $20 million in alcohol sales taxes. That’s compared to about $16 million in July 2019.

Sales tax rates for alcoholic beverages have not changed. That means people are bringing their booze to park picnics or clearing out the liquor store shelves before Zoom happy hours.

Kennesaw State University Economics Professor Roger Tutterow spoke about the trend with WABE’s Emil Moffatt on “All Things Considered.” He agreed that while the pandemic has been bad news for many bars and restaurants, liquor stores seem to actually be benefiting from folks cooped up at home. 

Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.