Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In The Public Interest? What are they thinking?

Contrary to what you may think the PLCB isn't all bad. They, along with 34 Happy Valley establishments have put a major dent in the drunken spree known as State Patty's Day and they tried to curb the drinking at Kutztown by limiting hours although that didn't work. 

However, I really can't figure out why the PLCB has extended the hours of some stores for hunting season. Drinking and driving isn't enough we have to add firearms into the mix too?  They really need to explain how making sure that people with guns have increased access to alcohol, courtesy of the state store system, is in the public interest. (Before you climb on your high horse - yes I am a gun owner.)


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Oh PLCB - you got some splainin' to do!

Just like Ricky did with Lucy we Pennsylvanians wonder what the PLCB is doing some if not most of the time.  We hear from the PLCB and the unions that our prices in state are so great but that over $300 million a year is lost in border bleed.  Which makes one wonder if we have such good prices why isn't there a positive cash flow into the state instead of a negative cash flow out of the state? Maybe convenience, selection and service are the deciding factors not price.

Speaking of going out of state to buy liquor we have all heard how Washingtonians are going to Oregon border stores in greater number since privatization to take advantage of cheaper prices.  That is saying something when Oregon has the 2nd highest liquor taxes in the country but would Pennsylvanians also shop in Oregon if they had the chance? According to the Tax Foundation their liquor taxes are 315% of ours.  They are also a control state which means limited hours, selection in store and convenience just like here.  

This story from KNDO NBC 23 out of Yakima, WA shows the inside of an Oregon liquor store and at about 1:15 in the clip you can see some prices of what they have. The signage says these are everyday prices not sale items. I've done a comparison of those prices to PA prices to see how much less expensive we are since our tax rate is so much lower. This is what I found.

Seagram's Gin 1.75L PA $21.99 - OR $18.39 (PA 23% higher)
Seagram's Vodka 1.75 PA $21.99 - OR $17.39 (PA 27% higher)
Kahlua 1.75 PA $42.99 - OR $32.39 (PA 30% higher)
Wolfschmidt Vodka 1.75L PA $14.99 - OR $14.39 (PA 10.7% higher)
Baileys 750ml PA $25.49 - OR $21.99 (PA 21% higher)
Pinnacle Vodka 1.75L $23.99 - OR $21.99 (PA 14% higher)
Smirnoff Vodka 1.75L PA $25.99 - OR $19.99 (PA 29% higher)

Now I know what you are thinking.  Al, your numbers don't work out. Well - they do.  Oregon doesn't charge sales tax so PA prices are an additional 6% higher then just what the listed price differences would indicate.  So how does this state government controlled wholesale operation with 3 times the taxes sell for less?  As the header says, "PLCB - you got some splainin' to do!"