McDonnell Begins Privatization of State Liquor Stores
The McDonnell Administration offered their first round of detailed proposals yesterday for privatizing the state’s liquor stores. Craig Carper reports.
During last fall’s campaign, Governor McDonnell said he would use the sale of state liquor stores to generate money for road construction and maintenance.
At yesterday’s second full meeting of his Government Reform Commission, McDonnell’s Senior Policy Advisor Eric Finkbeiner briefed the group on possible ways to accomplish this.
Of four possible options administration officials have proposed, the one gaining the most support would sell the state’s liquor licenses in a three-tiered system: one for big-box outlets like Kroger and Costco, another for dedicated liquor stores and a third for convenience stores.
Finkbeiner says there are still major details to be worked out.
Finkbeiner: Those total number of licenses would be capped, so that you'd have a set number of retail outlets around the state, whether that’s 500 or 800 or 1,000, that determination hasn’t been made yet, we know it's got to be more than 332 that we have currently, and then I think also to determine what’s necessary from a taxation and a markup standpoint to achieve the same amount of revenue that we receive right now for the General Fund.
Final proposals will be presented at the Government Reform Commission’s last meeting on August 26th, after which McDonnell is hopeful he can have enough reform proposals, ABC-related and otherwise, to call a special session in the fall for legislative approval.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square