The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC)

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC)

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The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) oversees applications pertaining to all commercial phases of the operations of the alcoholic beverage industry in the Lone Star State. If you want to manufacture, distribute or sell beer, wine or spirits in Texas, you will have to go through a TABC licensing procedure.

A History of Alcohol Licensing in Texas

The Texas Liquor Control Board was founded in 1935, two years after the repeal of the Volstead Act. Alcoholic beverages were legal once again in the United States, but federal officials realized that strict oversight of the industry would be necessary. With the passage of the 21st Amendment, the responsibility for regulating the alcoholic liquor industry was delegated solely to the individual states. In 1970, the Texas Liquor Control Board changed its name to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

What Does TABC Do?

TABC has been charged with six areas of oversight:

• Liquor licenses: TABC has the right to grant, refuse or suspend liquor licenses in the Lone Star State. Officials working with TABC evaluate petitioners to determine whether those petitioners meet the state’s qualifications for licensure.

• Supervision: TABC officials supervise manufacturing facilities in Texas where alcohol is made for commercial distribution. They also oversee importation and exportation through Texas ports as well as sale in Texas restaurants and bars.

• Collection of fees: Annual fees are assessed on all Texas liquor licenses, and TABC is charged with collecting those fees. TABC also collects all pertinent taxes. The gross receipts from all alcohol sales are taxed at a rate of 14 percent per year. This is a major source of revenue for Texas’s state government.

• Investigation of violations: TABC officials identify violations of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, and they assist the law officials who prosecute those violations.

• Seizure of illicit beverages: Tainted alcohol can be a problem close to the border that Texas shares with Mexico. TABC assists in helping control this problem.

• Packaging quality standards: The labeling on all alcoholic beverage containers sold in Texas must contain certain language, and TABC is charged with making sure that they do.