TABC assisting travelers, protecting Texans during busy Paisano border travel season
LAREDO, Texas — Employees of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will spend the first two weeks of January assisting travelers entering Texas during the busy Paisano travel season.
Paisano season refers to a roughly two-week period following the holidays in which travelers with families living in Mexico cross the border to visit their relatives.
In many cases, the returning travelers bring alcohol back into the state with them, which requires a short stop at one of TABC’s Ports of Entry facilities at the border. State law requires all travelers entering the state with alcohol to pay a small tax and administrative fee on any spirits, wine, or beer brought into Texas.
TABC Ports of Entry employees assess and collect the tax while keeping an eye out for any potentially illegal or dangerous beverages, according to Ports of Entry Chief John Reney.
“The Paisano season is obviously an extremely exciting and hectic time for travelers, and we want them to know that TABC will have additional staff members standing by to help Paisanos bring their alcohol into Texas safely and legally,” he said. “We’ll also be paying special attention to disallowing any potentially dangerous beverages before they can enter the Texas marketplace.”
Illicit beverages include those brought in unapproved containers, such as gasoline cans or unlabeled bottles, as well as those suspected of containing illegal or dangerous substances.
During the 2018 Paisano season at the busy Laredo and Eagle Pass ports of entry, TABC Tax Compliance Officers (TCOs) disallowed 120 illicit alcohol containers while approving more than 134,000 containers for entry into Texas. The agency also collected nearly $483,000 in revenue at those ports during the period.
Safety during the Paisano season is a top priority for TABC and for state law makers, such as Texas Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, whose House District 42 includes the city of Laredo.
“Texas welcomes all Paisano travelers who are returning home following their journey,” said Raymond. “I’m extremely thankful to the TABC Ports of Entry division and the other state and local agencies who are doing all they can to ensure this year’s Paisano is safe and happy for all involved.”
For more information about TABC’s mission at the Texas-Mexico border, visit:www.tabc.texas.gov/poe.
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