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Compromise maybe coming to PA for liquor privatization

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Those who want liquor privatization in Pennsylvania have offered a compromise to be negotiated in the state legislature; partial privatization. The compromise will basically allow for the privatization of beer and wine, while only the state run stores could sell the harder liquor, like vodka, whiskey and gin.

The initial draft for the proposed legislation would allow grocery and convenience stores to purchase a license for $10,000 a year that would grant them the right to sell 4 bottles of wine per visit to shoppers and convenience stores could sell beer even if located in a gas station.

In addition, the proposal would loosen some of the current liquor laws. Beer distributors could open cases and sell six packs, while bars patrons would be allowed to take out up to 3 six-packs' Also licensed wineries could ship their products directly to consumers, as long they collect the 12% sales tax.

Eventually, the legislation might allow the PA Liquor Control Board and the Budget and Finance Committee to lease the state run wine and spirits store to a private operator through an agreement.

The legislation does have its opposition. National distillers are opposed because it people have easier access to beer an wine, they may buy less hard liquor. The beer distributor in the state, under the PA Beer Alliance, oppose any expansion of beer distribution in Pennsylvania.

In addition, the state could possibly lose about $20 million per year in sales from its state run stores.



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