Legislators are right about state liquor control
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As pundits wonder why efforts to privatize the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and its Wine and Spirits Stores fell short ("Pennsylvania's Shame: Gov. Corbett Needs to Show Leadership on the LCB," June 20 editorial), here's a simple explanation. Lawmakers decided that the current system works pretty well. And it works far better than what's envisioned in the privatization legislation.
The stores produce more than $500 million a year in revenue for the state, along with 5,500 family-sustaining jobs. They help ensure public safety and health. In short, they deliver for all Pennsylvanians.
The system is good for consumers. Every Wine and Spirits Shop provides access to 30,000 brands. Even the smallest of these shops carry many times the number of brands available at most private stores.
Our prices are competitive with border states, except for Delaware, which offers cheaper wine and spirits because it imposes no sales tax on consumer goods. Practically everything is less expensive in Delaware.
House members convened public hearings across the state on Rep. Mike Turzai's privatization legislation. They heard from every possible constituency. Lawmakers learned that under Mr. Turzai's bill, taxes and prices would increase on most of the popular brands sold today. Convenience and selection, especially in rural areas, would suffer and several thousand Pennsylvanians would lose their jobs.
Lawmakers looked at the issue. They looked at the legislation. They looked at our current system and they made the right call. It's really pretty straightforward.
WENDELL W. YOUNG, IV
Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
The writer is president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 and chair of UFCW of PA Wine and Spirits Council.
First Published July 9, 2012 12:00 am