PLCB Turns to Corporate Welfare to “Strengthen” Local Producers

Everyone loves grant money, but for Pennsylvania wine makers and brewers, recent handouts from the PLCB are especially ironic.

On May 16, Governor Wolf announced that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) will distribute nearly $1 million in grants to various wine and brewing projects throughout the commonwealth. While the PLCB is trying to make local wine and beer producers more successful, corporate welfare is not the answer.

We often highlight how corporate welfare hurts Pennsylvania’s economy by increasing taxes, while the politically connected benefit.

Yet the PLCB doling out corporate welfare . . . with over $350 million in debt.

At the same time the debt-ridden PLCB is handing out grants, they maintain nonsensical regulations that limit where and how Pennsylvania producers can sell their alcohol products.

Kim McLaughlin, owner of McLaughlin Distillery notes the PLCB takes 66 percent of his gross sales at state stores, making it nearly impossible for him to cover the costs of supplies and production for his products.

For entrepreneurs like McLaughlin, corporate welfare won’t solve their problems—privatization will. If the government truly wants to boost wine making and brewing it should end the PLCB’s middle man monopoly.