The N.C. Association of ABC Boards has issued a set of "talking points" laying out arguements against any proposal to sell off the state-run system for selling liquor.
The administration of Gov. Bev Perdue, facing an estimated budget hole of $3.6 billion in the coming year, has hired a consultant to figure out how much the ABC system might be worth if it were privatized.
Among the points made by the board association in an e-mail sent out last week:
- North Carolina ranks third among the 50 states in government revenue per capita from the sale of spirits, while ranking 48th in consumption of liquor.
- The state’s ABC system allows for hard liquor sales in jurisdictions where voters approve it. ABC boards collect significant tax revenue for the State and return profits from the sales to their local governments for the benefit of their communities. ABC boards do not promote consumption and are staffed by local government employees.
- Privatization would not result in any downsizing of state government or reduction of state expenditures. The ABC system for hard liquor is self-supporting. ABC operations are funded from taxes and levies on the product that are paid by the consumer. No state funds are used to operate the system.
- Privatizing the state’s ABC system will mean a significant increase in the number of sale outlets. Profit-oriented private sellers will seek to increase sales, which along with more outlets will result in increased consumption.
- Do we really want hard liquor sold next to beer, wine and milk in big box retailer stores, grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations? Do we really want to make hard liquor available for sale in neighborhoods already struggling with crime and blight?