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Floor tax forces hard choices on restaurants

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In our series, A Year of Hard Choices, we've been reporting on the current economic downturn and how it's affecting the choices people in the North Country are making. With household budgets under pressure, these are already tough times for restaurants. Rick Davidson is co-owner of Davidson Brothers Brew Pub and Restaurant in Glens Falls. He says new fees and taxes meant to close government budget gaps are making things tighter. New York increased its excise tax on beer and wine--not much, he says, but it all adds up for businesses like his.

North Country Assemblywoman Addie Russell is circulating a petition to repeal the "floor tax." Russell says petitions are going out to local restaurants, breweries, wineries and liquor stores. There's also a digital version on the assemblywoman's web site.

Davidson tells Jonathan Brown that since May 1, restaurants, wineries, liquor stores and distributors are all paying 11 cents more for each gallon of wine, and three cents more for each gallon of beer they sell.

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