Liquor Privatization: Good for Business (Except in Jersey)

Ending Pennsylvania’s government liquor monopoly has some folks worried…like liquor store owners in New Jersey.

Writes Jason Laday of the South Jersey Times:

At any given time, on any given day, the parking lot of Liquor Mart, located in Logan Township just a few miles from the Commodore Barry Bridge, can be inundated with Pennsylvania license plates.

But if the Pennsylvania Senate follows the historic vote in the state House last month and moves to end government control over the wholesale and retail sale of wine and liquor, Pennsylvania residents may get the selection and convenience they want. This has some New Jersey businesses worried:

“It would definitely affect business here – no question about it,” said Raminder Sehgal, who along with co-owner Rayt Singh has operated Liquor Mart for the past six years. “We get Pennsylvania customers because of variety and cost, and if those issues are taken care of in Pennsylvania, then customers may stay there.”

A study commissioned by the PLCB found that 45 percent of Philadelphia area residents crossed state lines to purchase alcohol—violating the law in the process. This border bleed costs Pennsylvania hundreds of millions in lost sales.

Senators should act now to benefit Pennsylvania businesses, rather than driving shoppers out of state to find liquor liberty.