Liquor Stores No Asset for Taxpayers


Today, the Philadelphia Daily News published a letter from the Commonwealth Foundation titled “For the state stores, there’s no rationale for holding on anymore,” in response to their Dec. 22 editorial that concluded government-run state stores are a public asset.

Their conclusion begged the question: for whom? 

The rubber is getting ready to hit the road for Rep. Mike Turzai’s proposal where Pennsylvania would auction off state-store inventories, as well as 750 retail licenses and 100 wholesale distribution licenses, estimated to bring in almost $2 billion.

With another $500 million expected annually by license-renewal fees, state alcohol taxes and taxes not currently paid by government entities like corporate and property tax, privatization would likely generate more state revenue than produced by the current system.

More choices, better prices, keeping money in the state and closing the budget gap – what’s not to like about that?  Getting government out of the booze business is good business!