(Please note that the $425 million figure in this article includes the $38 million the state made from the auction of retail licenses; the $78 million increase is taxes only.)To the honorable chairmen and members of the Senate Law and Justice Committee,Greetings. I've watched all three of the hearings your committee has held on privatization of the current state monopoly on wholesale and retail sale of wine and spirits. One concern that seemed to come up time and again was that of consistency of revenue. You were presented with a baffling array of projected numbers: how much the Commonwealth would lose under privatization, how much it would gain, the amount various other states have lost or gained by privatizing.
One number that seemed to have escaped notice, however, is this one: $78 million. That's the increase in revenue from spirits sales that the Washington State government has seen in the year since they privatized their state-owned monopoly. If you're interested, the details are here.
So if you're thinking about how privatization will affect revenue, and if that important consideration has an effect on your vote, please remember that privatization -- if done correctly -- can indeed increase revenue. We don't need to speculate. Washington has provided us with a real world experiment, and the outcome shows the benefits of privatization.Thank you, and I hope you will consider all angles of this issue. I have high hopes of a good outcome from your deliberations, as this is a very important issue for me.
Yeah, I know: Washington raised the fees/taxes/grab on liquor, and that may be some of the nut. Trust me: they know that too. But even with higher taxes/fees/blood money, the prices in Washington -- as you'll see if you read the piece linked above -- are still close to what they were before. Without the increases? Who knows how low they might have gone, but the fact is, what kept them down was competition.