From PennLive:

Critics of the state’s wine and spirits shops like to play the free market card to justify their relentless campaign to dismantle a valuable publicly-owned asset -- and put thousands of Pennsylvanians on the unemployment line in the bargain.

But their "free" market comes with a massive price tag for taxpayers. 

One proposal would provide restaurants and bars awarded a license to sell wine-to-go with an expanded discount on the wine they purchase from the PA Liquor Control Board (PLCB). These establishments already receive a discount of 10 percent on wine and spirits that they purchase.

Now, some of these privateers are pushing to double that break, which would cost $40 million to $50 million a year. These discounts would cut into the more than $550 million the PLCB provides state taxpayers each year in profits, taxes and other transfers.

A second proposal provides a taxpayer-funded bailout for beer distributors. Under this plan, the state, i.e. taxpayers, would be forced to purchase back licenses from beer distributors who decide they want to sell. That money, again, would ultimately cut into the revenue that the PLCB provides the state each year.

Lawmakers need to focus on improving this asset by supporting Rep. Gene DiGirolamo’s legislation that would, among other things, expand Sunday stores and Sunday hours, allow the PLCB to open more stores inside of or adjacent to grocery stores and provide for direct shipment of wine to homes.

This proposal would generate $185 million a year in new revenue for the state and improve customer convenience. It’s time to modernize the PLCB for consumers and all taxpayers.

WENDELL W. YOUNG IV, President, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 1776, Plymouth Meeting, Montgomery Co

Leave a comment:


Sandra Morillo
  April 28, 2014 4:39pm

Since 2011 I have written every Senator, every State Rep. six times with what will happen if the Gov. gets his way. In my recent letters I said look what happened in Washington State. The State has a jewel, the system is working. Modernize, and as you state in this letter we can gain $185 million dollars. We need every dollar we can get in this recession. We need a Governor who is for the people. Not a Governor who has an agenda to keep unemployment high, destroy families that have good jobs, terminate a system that has proven every year that the millions of dollars it generates does not matte