So Wisconsin's legislature and governor and entrenched in a rather pathetic budget stalemate. The only good thing about this is that if no budget is passed, then its possible we also won't pass direct shipping restrictions currently in the senate's budget. If, however, something passes, it seems likely include the following:
1. Currently, Wisconsin's Dept. of Revenue can enter into reciprocal agreements where a state's wineries can ship direct to WI residents if WI wineries (they exist, though quality is often a relative thing) can ship direct to that state's residents. These will be gone, with Direct Shipper Permits replacing them.
2. If I read the bill's summaries, Direct Shipper Permits will only be available to wineries and not retailers. The permits would require:
a. Fees of $100, $50 or $10, depending on how much a winery ships.
b. Annual reporting of how much a winery ships and to whom.
c. Direct shipments must be recieved by a resident who is of age and not intoxicated.
3. Wisconsin residents could only purchase 12 cases of wine direct annually. If you violate this, the DOR will issue one warning and then every violation is $500. Individuals are responsible for compliance.
4. Outside of the Direct Shippers Permit, alcohol can only be shipped into Wisconsin via that Three Tier System.
5. There is some stuff explicitly permitting in-store, free, tasting of non-wine alcohol.
This is better than the original version in July, where the per person case limit was 3, the fees for the permits were literally 10 times higher, the reporting was monthly and, worst of all, the compliance with the per person limit was put on the wineries (which would be impossible). The potential big problem I see is the requirement that the receiving person be "not intoxicated" upon receipt. It's silly and, worse, I can't believe FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc., will agree to take the steps needed to comply.
Also, if I understand this correctly, retailers would not be able to ship direct to WI residents, not WI retailers, nor out-of-state retailers. But looking at the existing laws, I don't know how it's currently legal, but I do know its currently done. So maybe the provision that allows Binny's to ship to me is found in some other part of the statutes. If that is the case, then I don't know whether this bill effects direct shipments from retailers. Wine Library has evidently stopped shipping to Wisconsin.
To those in the wine industry or those who just know more than I do, if this passes, will direct shipping to WI end due to the "not intoxicated" upon receipt nonsense? Am I missing something as to retailers direct shipping to WI?
Here is the link to the summary of the current provisions: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/lfb/2007‑09budget/SS%20SB%201%20and%202/gftax.pdf See pages 46-55.
FWIW, here is a link to the original, more draconian, restrictions: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/lfb/2007-09budget/Senate%2...l%20fund%20taxes.pdf (pages 35-42).