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Poll: Most New Jerseyans Support State Liquor Law Reforms

New Jerseyans across the board support a number of liquor license reforms being proposed that deal with the quantity of licenses allowed and how licenses can be used, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

Almost all residents are in favor of allowing breweries greater ability to serve food on their premises – with 92% supporting versus 6% in opposition. 71% are supportive of giving small towns additional “retail consumption licenses,” allowing more restaurants to serve alcohol; 26% oppose this.

Solid majorities are also in favor of lifting the current restriction on the number of events a brewery can hold in a year (63% support to 26% oppose) and allowing towns that have active liquor licenses not tied to a specific establishment to transfer those licenses to another town in the same county (57% support to 34% oppose).

New Jerseyans are divided only when it comes to providing a $30-50,000 tax credit to current license holders as a way to make up for the possible decrease in value of their existing license due to the addition of new licenses: 45% support this, while 42% oppose it, and 13% are unsure.

“One thing New Jerseyans seem to agree upon these days is revamping the state’s liquor license laws – an issue that even cuts across party lines,” said Ashley Koning, an assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP) at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “Residents’ sole hesitancy, unsurprisingly, is with tax credits for current license holders, which is in line with the broader narrative of New Jerseyans not wanting anything to ultimately impact their own wallet.”

A majority of every demographic group supports each of these licensing measures, with the exception of the tax credit.

“Though still divided amongst themselves, women (49%) and non-white residents (51%) are more supportive of the tax credit than their counterparts by double-digits,” noted Jessica Roman, a research associate at ECPIP.

Results are from a statewide poll of 1,002 adults contacted by live interviewers on landlines and cell phones from April 27 to May 5. The full sample has a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points.

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