EDMOND — Oklahoma wine retailers should not be put at a disadvantage by out-of-state wine sales online, said state Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, during a pre-session legislative breakfast.
State senators and representatives were in attendance for the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce event Friday at the Edmond Conference Center. Also among attendees was State Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Edmond, the author of the Alcohol Modernization Act that was enacted by voters in 2016.
Martinez said the state of Oklahoma is still ironing out a few related details of the state’s alcohol law including taxation of wine. Wine may be ordered online in Oklahoma, but a lot of out-of-state wine sellers are not paying their wine sale taxes to the state of Oklahoma, Martinez said.
“We’re not doing a very good job of collecting that tax,” Martinez said. “I do think a lot of the problems are simple communication between the agencies.”
Local wine sellers are having to sell their product at a higher cost because they are paying their fair share of taxes. Martinez contacted the ABLE Commission for help in ensuring the state receives the taxes owed to it.
“It’s simply not fair to Oklahomans,” he said.
Edmond City Councilman Nick Massey said it was not fair for local merchants when Internet sale taxes were not being collected.
“There’s still a little bit of that, but for the most part that problem has gone away,” Massey said. “If that in fact is a problem with wine distribution from out-of-state, then I agree that’s something that needs to be fixed.”