NC Association of ABC Boards Opposes Privatization Effort

Dec 20, 2010, 14:25 ET from North Carolina Association of ABC Boards

RALEIGH, N.C., Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The North Carolina Association of ABC Boards sent a letter to legislators last week announcing its opposition to any effort to privatize the sale and distribution of liquor in the state. "When all facts are known, it becomes clear that this is a change North Carolina does not need and cannot afford," wrote Jon Carr, registered lobbyist for the NC Association of ABC Boards.

"North Carolina ranks 3rd 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," wrote Mr. Carr.

The letter is an effort by the NC Association of ABC Boards to help inform and educate incoming lawmakers about the state's system of controlling the sale and distribution of liquor.

"North Carolina has controlled spirits since the repeal of prohibition and is unique among other control states in that ABC Boards are established by town or county elections and the profits flow to that local government unit," Mr. Carr explained.

"The state's ABC system is designed to limit access and provide a controlled environment for the sale and distribution of spirits while providing a reliable revenue stream for state, county and local governments," said Mr. Carr. "When you look at privatizing ABC sales, you liberalize access and you reduce revenue to local and county governments."

Mr. Carr said he understands concerns about some high salaries in one county and a holiday meal in another, but noted the Association worked with the General Assembly this past year on a comprehensive set of new laws that substantially reform the ABC system, and said the state should allow time to see the success of that legislation.

"It's clear that privatization doesn't make good sense for North Carolina from a public health, public safety and economic standpoint," said Mr. Carr.

SOURCE North Carolina Association of ABC Boards