Liquor Prices Going Up

That handle of Vladdy or fifth of Jack will be costing you a bit more in a few months. According to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board(PLCB), a state-owned entity that owns and operates state liquor stores, the rising cost of doing business is forcing the increase. Prices are expected to rise an unknown amount  starting January 4th. According to the PLCB, plans are in the works to increase the fees vendors and suppliers charge for the logistics, merchandising and transportation fees.

However, not all are in agreement that the increase is needed. Nathan Benefield of the Commonwealth Foundation, a public policy think tank in Harrisburg, emphasized how this highlights the need to privatize the liquor stores, thus providing financial windfall to the state, and eliminating the oppressive monopoly that limits availability and prevents competition. “Consumers are being to fit the bill for a system that does not serve them as well as a free-market system,” Benefield stated.

The PLCB has been trying to become more consumer friendly in recent days by adding wine kiosks, redesigning stores (none yet in State College), providing food pairing information on its website (Vladamir and Canyon could not be found listed) and hiring consultants to improve their business practices. It is unknown if higher prices are supposed to attract consumers to state wine and spirit stores. Onward State would like to remind its readers that if they bring alcohol into PA from another state, they must pay the appropriate taxes (18% liquor tax and 6% use tax in lieu of sales tax) and have it shipped to  a PA Wine and Spirits store, where it can be picked up.

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