MEDIA RELEASE: Analyst: Perdue is right to oppose ABC privatization

The governor’s approach reflects both fiscal and social responsibility, BTC director says

RALEIGH (Jan. 20, 2010) – Gov. Beverly Perdue’s decision to oppose privatization of state liquor stores is the right move from a long-term fiscal perspective, a top budget analyst said today.

“Even without considering the potential social consequences, it would be a mistake to privatize the ABC system based on a small revenue boost in the short-term,” said Alexandra Forter Sirota, director of the NC Budget & Tax Center. “Gov. Perdue is right to think about what’s best for North Carolina in the long run.”

All budget decisions, Sirota said, must be evidence-based and carefully consider the results beyond just the next few years. Continuing the state-run ABC system would likely minimize alcohol abuse while preserving a stable revenue stream to fund vital public investments.

According to state ABC Commission statistics, North Carolina ranks 48th in per capita consumption of liquor but 6th in liquor revenues. In 2010, the state collected $210 million in revenue from liquor sales.

“Privatizing state services often has long-term fiscal consequences that aren’t properly accounted for,” said Sirota, “Policymakers must ensure that in their efforts to close the shortfall that are not creating problems for the state down the road.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Alexandra Forter Sirota, 919.861.1468, alexandra@ncjustice.org; Jeff Shaw, director of communications, 503.551.3615, jeff@ncjustice.org.
 
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