Privatizing liquor sales will hurt Pa.
TO THE EDITORS:
Once again, our governor is blowing smoke. He says the state can sell the liquor stores to generate a profit of $1 billion within five years. The state stores contributed approximately $1.5 billion in the last three fiscal years. Yes, this includes taxes that would be generated by the privatization if every retailer pays their taxes. Every day the state collects taxes on the sale of liquor, not every quarter or yearly, which would be the case if they privatize the system. The state also contributes $20 million to the liquor enforcement agencies of Pennsylvania.
This would not be the case if they privatize. That means the state police would have to ask for a increase in their budget to make up for this lost revenue. Where would this come from? Higher taxes, of course. The system also contributes more than $3 million per year toward alcohol education of bar owners who use this money to help those selling alcohol to be more aware of under-age purchasing. I don't think the big box companies are going to come anywhere close to making these kind of contributions.
I would rather see the money go into the state treasury than give it to companies. Taxes will go up as will the price of alcohol. Look at the numbers Washington state has lost since it privatized -- the numbers are staggering. The people who work in the liquors stores are knowledgeable and very strict on underage sales.
Throwing all these employees out of work will also increase additional unemployment. This will have a trickle-down effect on many other people.
Contact your elected officials and tell them you want to keep the current system. It truly does work well and generates millions of dollars for the state treasury, state police, schools and municipalities every year. Why give up all this money to big box companies who will reap these profits?