“Pennsylvania is second only to Texas in revenue from the sales of wine and spirits, and today’s news reinforces the success and staying power of our existing liquor sales structure. I was a champion for protecting and modernizing the Wine & Spirits Stores and the family-sustaining jobs they provide, and I’m encouraged to know of their continued achievements,” Ferlo said.
The LCB revenues at Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores reached $2.17 billion in fiscal year 2012-13, a $93 million or 4.5 percent increase over FY 2011-12. The agency paid a record $512 million in sales tax, liquor tax and transfers to the General Fund, an increase of $18 million.
In addition, the LCB noted that the biggest sales increase was in retail wine sales.
“Part of my modernization plan includes an issue which shared bi-partisan support; direct wine shipments to consumers. I hope that the news of a jump in wine sales will help advance this issue, desired by consumers, to finality,” Ferlo shared.
Senator Ferlo is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 800; a multi-faceted piece of legislation designed to allow the LCB to operate more like a successful retail operation. The changes proposed in Senate Bill 800 relate to pricing, personnel, and procurement. The ultimate goal of Senate Bill 800 is to preserve and protect the state store system, while providing necessary revisions to the law so that the system can continue into the future to the benefit of consumers, and the Commonwealth.
“The liquor privatization issue is far from settled in Harrisburg. I hope that my fellow lawmakers will see today’s news from the LCB, recognize its success, and do whatever necessary to safeguard this vital public asset,” Senator Ferlo commented. “I am disappointed that Governor Corbett continues efforts to privatize a number of the Commonwealth’s most profitable revenue centers like the Wine & Spirits Stores, the Pennsylvania Lottery, and PHEAA.”
The Senate is expected to continue working on liquor-related legislation when it reconvenes in September.