Editorial: The state should not sell booze

Editorial: The state should not sell booze

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - According to the National Alcoholic Beverage Control Association, Alabama is one of 17 states with a government agency dedicated to managing liquor sales.

I for one think it is necessary to have regulations and guidance on how alcoholic beverages are to be sold in retail outlets. That is what a government should do. However, I don't think a state government should be in the business of directly selling alcohol.

Just last week the ABC Board voted to increase the state markup of alcohol from 30 percent to 35 percent. Price hikes happen. The excise tax nor the sales tax were increased. What bothers me is that the independent liquor store owners who have to compete against the Alabama government state run liquor stores have to charge you the state sales tax of 6 percent and any local city and county sales taxes. But the ABC stores only charge the 6 percent sales tax.

There has been a 30 percent markup on every bottle sold by the state. A 25 percent markup is used to pay for operations of the ABC Board, and the remaining 5 percent markup goes to the state's General Fund.

I think our state government should solely regulate alcohol products and usage and get out of the sales side of the business. Let local investors help grow the economy by creating public sector jobs and let local businesses thrive without having to compete unfairly against the government.

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