NFIB: Commonwealth liquor privatization is a necessary change for Pennsylvania

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) was left disappointed by Gov. Tom Wolf’s recent veto of a liquor sales privatization bill.

“Pennsylvania is one of two states that control the wholesale of liquor, and right now it is a big mess because the government does not know how to manage a consumer-driven product like alcohol,” Kevin Shivers, Pennsylvania executive state director at NFIB, told Pennsylvania Business Weekly. “Get rid of the overhead cost and let the private sector handle it. Main Street can do it better. If the government manages liquor sales, no real revenue can be made because of pension obligations to employees, for example. The government devalues liquor as an asset by trying to hold onto it.”

Shivers believes small businesses would thrive with privatization.

“Nothing sparks opportunity like competition," Shivers said. "There is a lot for businesses if you do it right. No one will invest if the government stays involved and creates a bigger mess. The governor wants to borrow money to maintain government support, but the product can sell itself and make more money for businesses and the state without the government being so involved."

Privatization will also stop "border leaking" and would increase Pennsylvania's coffers exponentially. Border leaking is where customers cross over to other states to purchase more affordable alcohol.

Shivers said $40 million could be returned to Pennsylvania if border leaking came to an end.

NFIB is a business organization that has 325,000 small and independent business owners united by one clear mission: to promote and protect a right to own, operate and grow a business.

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Pennsylvania National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)

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