Pa. liquor-sale privatization push gets support from unlikely corner

Supporters of the move to privatize liquor sales in Pennsylvania made a stop in Philadelphia Tuesday.

House Majority Leader Mike Turzai came to Philadelphia to show off a surprising supporter of his effort to turn liquor sales over to private businesses who would buy a limited number of franchises from the state.

Jonathan Newman, who used to be chair of the state Liquor Control Board, believes Pennsylvania has no good reason to be in the liquor business.

“I think there is something inherently wrong going to state-controlled store that has a uniformity of selection, some of the highest taxes in the country, a flood tax from Johnstown in the 1930s that we are still paying for to this day,” Newman said.

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State Rep.Tom Killion said he believes the state would do better under privatization because state residents who now cross borders to buy wine and liquor in other states would spend that money in Pennsylvania.

“I live in western Delaware County, six miles from the Delaware border, and I can tell you my neighbors do not shop in our state stores. My neighbors shop in Delaware at Total Wines,” Killion said.

Turzai hopes to get a vote on his bill, which would not affect beer sales, before the end of the year.


Do you think the state would do better if liquor sales were turned over to private businesses? Would privitizing liquor sales in Pennsylvania make it easier for you to purhcase liquor? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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