Monday, December 20, 2010

Upcoming Battle Over State Store Privatization

Union groups are beginning to mobilize against a plan to sell off Pennsylvania’s state-owned liquor stores.
Incoming Republican leaders say privatizing Pennsylvania’s 600-plus stores is an early priority, and predict the sale would generate more than two billion dollars.
Wendell Young, who heads the United Federation of Commercial Workers’ Pennsylvania chapter, says their numbers are wrong.

"I think it’s a hard sell to the taxpayers of Pennsylvania to say that we know we can go to 2 billion. They know they can’t. There’s not a shred of evidence. Do the math. Take our your own calculator. Go talk to people in other states and ask what they pay for licenses. Nobody gets that kind of money. Why’s Pennsylvania going to be any different?"

Young says lawmakers would also be giving up future tax revenue by selling the state-owned system, as well as jeopardizing the jobs of liquor store employees.
Incoming Majority Leader Mike Turzai says liquor sales would still generate 500 million dollars in taxes each year, under his plan.

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