The Michigan Spirits Association (MSA) represents the vendors, suppliers, and distributors of distilled spirit products in the state of Michigan. The industry is one of the state’s significant revenue generators, which has historically made it a target for proposed tax increases. With MLC’s counsel, the MSA was able fight back a tax increase threat, but in exchange offered lawmakers other options that could help raise funds for the state. The organization’s biggest challenge: demonstrating the potential to drive new revenue through a new sampling program and other marketing concepts, all without additional taxation.
How MLC changed the conversation:
MLC drove the development and execution of a strategic plan to introduce sampling of premium spirits at retail locations – a strategy that had been implemented to great success in eighteen other states. By sampling higher end spirits, consumers would be more likely to purchase them. Because of Michigan’s already high tax structure as it relates to spirit alcohol, allowing sampling would produce higher revenue to the state. While the approach was viewed as controversial and met with some criticism, MLC’s thorough strategy of responsible oversight, and showing the program’s success in other states, changed the conversation and highlighted the approach’s revenue potential. Since passing a bill to make the practice legal in Michigan, added revenue to the state has reached into the millions and is solely attributable to this effort.
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Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit www.mlcmi.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.