2016 VICTORY on ABC Manager Certification
Governor Bryant has signed into law SB2419. The MHRA has worked with the Ms Dept of Revenue to craft language that will give individuals convicted of a non violent felony a second chance at getting their ABC Manager Certification. While not a guarantee by any means, this language would give felons that have paid their debt to society a chance to be CONSIDERED for certification. Applicants must be three years removed from completion of their sentence.
Legislative Legislative Scorecard Impact
$17,000 is savings for each restaurant in MS is directly related to MHRA Government Affairs team
Amended Additional Privilege Fee
Passed SB 2207 to reduce Additional Privilege Fee Alcohol Tax by 50%. Average restaurant savings of $4000. $2 million positive impact to industry.
Soft Drink Excise Tax
The MHRA actively worked to defeat legislation that would have added an excise tax on sugared soft drinks. This bill would have had a profound negative impact on the restaurant industry. SB 2830 would have assessed an excise tax of $.02 PER FINISHED OUNCE of sweetened beverage.
Alcohol Excise Tax
HB 1355 was written to increase the existing alcohol excise taxes by 50%. Additionally, the mark-up was to be increased to 4.5%. This would have increased the excise tax on beer to $.64/gallon.
Surveillance of Credit Card Terminals
HB 1393 would require every restaurant to install cameras at every credit card terminal. This would have cost the average restaurant over $4000.
Local and Private Tourism Tax Sales Tax Credit
Retailers are currently allowed to take a 2% credit on their general sales tax returns, not to exceed $50 per month/$600 per year. This year, the MHRA introduced and passed HB 1285 which added another credit to those restaurants and hotels collecting local tourism taxes. This will save restaurants and hotels $600 per year.
Preemption Protects Your Business
Throughout the country, local governments, encouraged by the Center for Disease Control, are experimenting with restrictive policies pertaining to food policy. The proliferation of onerous local ordinances led the MHRA to introduce and pass two preemption bills.
Passed SB 2687 Local Government Food Preemption Law
This bill prevents cities and counties from enacting their own local food ordinances and reserves that authority to the state legislature. The MHRA believes that public health policy relating to food sales should be uniform and consistent throughout the state.
Passed HB 141 Minimum Wage/Sick Leave Preemption
This bill prevents cities and counties from enacting their own minimum wage and sick leave policies. The national efforts of the Restaurant Opportunity Center have proved to be successful in raising local minimum wage rates and establishing mandated sick leave policies.
MHRA Looks For Solutions To INFUSED ALCOHOLS
Current statute prevents restaurants from creating and selling infused alcohols. The MHRA is working with the ABC to amend the legislation.
Cottage Food Bill Under Scrutiny
In 2013, the Ms. Legislature passed the Cottage Food bill allowing individuals to bake cakes, pies and other pastries out of their home with no regulatory oversight. This has proven to be problematic as the widespread abuse is creating an uneven playing field. The MHRA is working with the Health Dept. and The Dept. of Agriculture in seeking amendment language.
The MHRA strongly opposes any attempt to increase the excise tax on sugared beverages. While proponents will argue that increasing the tax will decrease consumption due to pricing variances, the reality is that retailers will maintain a single tier pricing structure leading to an increase of ALL soft drink.
The MHRA also opposes any increase in the alcohol excise tax.