The Commonwealth Foundation saluted a study delivered on October 25, 2001 to Gov. Tom Corbett, which recommends that Pennsylvania end government control over retail and wholesale wine and liquor sales.
The study, conducted by Public Financial Management Inc., (PFM) was commissioned by the Governor’s Office to analyze the current system and evaluate the potential for privatization of its wholesale and retail wine and liquor operations.
“The study just confirms what the Commonwealth Foundation has been saying for months, that government in the booze business is a lose business,” said Jay Ostrich, director of public affairs. “Privatization of government-run liquor stores not only gives consumers the freedom to make buying decisions without government control, but it would safely generate significant revenue for taxpayers that is now currently lost due to antiquated and ineffective policies.”
In its study, PFM also evaluated various approaches to privatization, and researched current business and industry data to predict financial performance under a variety of scenarios.
Based on that analysis, as well as comparisons to other states, PFM recommended that a privatized system affords the state the best opportunity to improve on the current system as well as provide the best financial benefits for its citizens. The full report is available HERE.
Of the options the study recommends, the free-market think tank supports a market-based approach that allows private businesses to sell wine and liquor to legal adults, just like 48 other states do. While the study indicates taxes and fees can retain current revenue for the state without any price increase, the Commonwealth Foundation supports lowering the tax burden on consumers.
“Consumers and taxpayers are demanding for good reason that government abandon Prohibition-era policies that have forced consumers to bootleg alcohol in the 21st century just to get a product they want at a fair price,” said Ostrich. “It’s time for Pennsylvania to let freedom drink.”
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