The latest claim by some union members and supporters is that Washington state is making less money this year than when they had a state run system, and the implication is that it's because they privatized. The truth is that they are about $46 million ahead of the last year of state-run stores. Even though I explained and pointed out where to find all the numbers in "Why Johnny can't read or do math Part 3", they seem to still have difficulty with addition.
One more time, then: the Washington State Department of Revenue collects liquor taxes. The total for Fiscal Year 2014 was $267,374,563. The Washington State Liquor Control Board collects spirit fees, license fees and beer and wine taxes. That was $227,320,000 for Fiscal year 2014. That means the total state booze-related revenue collected in FY 2014 was $494,7 million. In the last year of state-run liquor stores (FY2012), the total returned was $448.7 million (including store "profit") which also included the one-time $31 million income from the sale of the old state stores and was still $46 million less than this year.
Now, here's the crucial part that brings all the crowing about the State Store System's "record sales" into perspective. Compare what the PLCB, with control of both wine and liquor and twice the population and over twice the total sales of Washington State, did over that same period. They didn't even come close to increasing the contribution to the state by that amount. Their increase was only $33 million, and yes, that includes the so-called "profit" and taxes, too. Washington does not charge regular state sales taxes on liquor, but includes a Spirit Sales Tax in the price, the same way PA includes the Johnstown Flood Tax in the retail price. I did include PA sales tax in the above comparison; it's revenue from booze sales. But still...they couldn't match the increase Washington saw when it privatized (and remember; Washington only privatized liquor!).
Freedom of choice, free enterprise, free interstate commerce...those are things the country was founded on, and these are the things denied the citizens of Pennsylvania by the State Store System. Washington State now has greater selection, more convenience, more taxes collected, and lower DUI fatalities. Looks to me like Washington is winning. We can be winners too. Privatize.
Privatization Is Modernization.