The next House Majority Leader, Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, recently released a statement saying that it’s a myth that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (LCB) transfers a lot of money to the General Fund each year.
The LCB only transfers about $90 million in profits to the state's General Fund, Turzai noted citing liquor board documents.
"The best approach for long-term revenue growth and consumer satisfaction is to take government out of the liquor business altogether," Turzai said. "It's a fact that the bulk of money transferred for budget use from the PLCB comes from taxes."
Turzai and incoming Republican Governor Tom Corbett both support privatizing the state’s liquor system. When the 2011-12 session begins in January, the Republicans will have strong majorities in the House and Senate. Lawmakers also face at least a $3 billion spending deficit, putting more pressure than ever on the sale of the state store system.
Features of the legislation he plans to introduce next session:
- Change the way wine and spirits are taxed, ending the 18 percent Johnstown Flood Tax.
- End certain mark-ups and handling fees and allow the market to dictate the price of wine and spirits.
- Auction off wholesale and retail licenses to private businesses with a reserve price based on their fair market value (estimated to bring in at least $2 billion).
- Provide assistance to the current PLCB employees that would be affected by this transition through tax credits, tuition assistance and civil service preferences to continue working in state government.
- Give the board additional resources to succeed in its mission of enforcement, licensure, inspection and alcohol education.