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Published on Friday, January 10, 2014

AWC seeks to restore local liquor profits

AWC and a number of cities are working to restore the historic sharing of liquor profits between the state, cities, and counties.

For decades, the state and local governments shared liquor profits 50 percent to the state, 40 percent to cities, and 10 percent to counties. That formula changed dramatically when the 2012 Legislature capped local liquor profits at 2011 dollar amounts – no longer a percentage, but a set $49.4 million annually. Going forward, this action gives the state all excess profits generated from liquor privatization and effectively freezes the revenues distributed to cities and counties.

Over five years, this change redirects over $100 million from local governments to the state – most of which was taken as a reduction to cities and counties in the first two years following privatization and is gone permanently.

This session, AWC and cities are advocating for a bill that restores the historic sharing of liquor profits between the state and local governments. The measure incrementally increases the amount of liquor profits locals receive until it reaches the historic 50 percent split in July 2020. This approach allows city liquor revenue to begin growing again while mitigating immediate impacts to the state budget (which legislators would likely not support).

We expect bills to be introduced in the House and Senate soon and will keep you updated.