Toledo Blade on Liquor Privatization


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If you’ve read our continuing coverage of plans to privatize the state liquor monopoly to give Mark Kvamme and the team at JobsOhio some pocket change to work with, you know we see a lot of concerns with the funding proposal contained in the Governor’s budget. (If not, catch up by reading this, this and this.)

It seems we are not the only ones. The Toledo Blade had a strong editoral today about the wisdom of the plan – pointing to both the dubious math (giving up $6 billion in revenue to get $1.2 billion), but also to the lack of accountability and transparency to which JobsOhio will be subject when spending those resources. They also unearthed a great quote that we had missed, from future JobsOhio bigwig (and California resident) Mark Kvamme:

“For all you users of alcohol, nothing will change,” he said. “You can still have your bourbon. You can still have your gin, OK?”

Well OK then. Thanks for addressing our concerns.

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3 Comments

  1. As a historian who has written about liquor control,, I think the change to send the revenues to a private company is appalling. I prefer keeping public funds public, and under the scrutiny of accountable public officials.

  2. What has not been mentioned, it appears, is that liquor profits provide a means for the state to issue bonds without amending the Ohio Constitution to do so. Liquor profits are just that – profits. They are not tax receipts, and therefore can be utilized with some flexibility as collateral against bonds issued by the state. Currently, liquor profits are used to leverage bonds for economic development.

    Giving up this state monopoly on liquor profits and the potential flexibility it provides the state in any future indebtedness it may need to assume, is extremely short-sighted.

    This is a gift to the private sector. Who wouldn’t want a guaranteed profit stream that liquor profits provide – with relatively little up-front investment? This will be the buy of the century by investment bankers.

  3. Just exactly why should the State of Ohio be in the position to sell liquor in the first place? Why then, allow private sale of beer and wine? Several states seem to do very well with government giving up this responsibility. What about the state taking over the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products?

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