Boards Oppose Privatizing ABC System
Special Report - December 22, 2010
The North Carolina Association of Alcoholic Beverage Control Boards wrote to lawmakers last week to encourage opposition to any efforts during the upcoming legislative session to privatize the state’s system for selling liquor. The letter was made public on December 20. The Association represents the governing bodies for the 400-plus liquor stores across the state that are part of the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) system. According to WRAL.com, the letter emphasized that, “North Carolina ranks third among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in revenue per capita from the sale of spirits and 48th in per capita consumption. North Carolina’s control system for the sale of spirits works and accomplishes important public health and revenue objectives.”
During the 2010 legislative session, the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed HB1717Modernization of the State ABC System to update the system and respond to several controversies surrounding high salaries and questionable activities by some ABC board members and employees. The new law requires local ABC boards to establish ethics policies, sets performance standards for local ABC boards, limits employee salaries, and aims to gives the state ABC Commission enhanced authority to oversee efficient operations in the state’s ABC stores.
Still, Governor Perdue has repeatedly stated that she is considering selling the system in the hopes of helping to balance the state’s untenable budget situation. The N.C. ABC Commission has hired an outside consulting firm to evaluate the system and its worth if sold in whole or part. The firm is expected to provide a complete report in January. Governor Perdue has said she is waiting to see the report before making a final decision on whether to attempt to privatize the system. The current control system generates more than $250 million each year in revenue for state and local government.
ABC Reform Bill Signed - July 23, 2010
House Approves ABC Reform - June 24, 2010
ABC Changes Move Ahead - June 11, 2010
ABC Proposal Released - May 7, 2010
ABC Committee Floats Proposal - April 12, 2010
Alcohol Becomes Popular Topic - March 26, 2010
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