Monday, November 15, 2010

Corbett Can't Stop LCB Fee Hike

Governor-elect Tom Corbett is criticizing a Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board-mandated price increase that goes into effect just before he takes office.
But it appears that Corbett probably can’t do anything about the levy which will increase costs by fifteen cents to a bit more than a dollar, depending on the size of a bottle.

"It certainly appears to be a cost increase, at that point in time. I don’t understand, at this point, why the LCB is taking an action like that on the eve of a new administration. And that will certainly be the subject of transition discussions."

Corbett may not like the price increase, which the LCB is calling a “handling fee,” but both Rendell Administration officials and members of his transition team say he likely can’t overturn it.
The Republican does have the power to appoint new members to the three-person board, though. His first chance will come this spring, when member Tom Goldsmith’s term expires.
As board spokeswoman Stacey Witalec explains, Corbett could appoint a new chairman in 2011, even though current chair PJ Stapleton’s term runs through 2012.

"The governor can appoint a new chairman whenever he chooses to do-so. He can designate one of the board members as chairman, who will serve in that position technically at the pleasure of the governor. So he could appoint a new chairman as he saw fit."

Corbett and other Republican leaders say they’ll make privatizing Pennsylvania’s state-owned liquor stores a top priority next year.

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