You are hereNew poll shows that PA voters see Wine and Spirits privatization as lowest priority
New poll shows that PA voters see Wine and Spirits privatization as lowest priority
HARRISBURG – (Nov. 4, 2011) – A new statewide poll shows that House Majority Leader Mike Turzai’s obsession with dismantling Pennsylvania’s Wine and Spirits shops – jeopardizing 5,000 jobs and creating higher taxes and prices in the process – is not shared by an overwhelming majority of Pennsylvania voters.
The new Franklin & Marshall College Poll shows that only 17 percent of those surveyed believe that Turzai’s House Bill 11 is an important legislative priority. The issue finished last on a list of five challenges presented to voters in the poll, with 52 percent of those surveyed saying that it was “one of the least important” items on the legislative agenda.
“Rep. Turzai isn’t working for his constituents and he isn’t working for 83 percent of the voters who want him to tackle real issues,” said Wendell W. Young, IV, Chairman of the United Food and Commercial Workers of PA Wine and Spirits Council and President of UFCW Local1776. “This is what happens when lawmakers lock themselves in a room with a handful of special interests and cook up a reckless and irresponsible scheme. He has completely lost touch with real Pennsylvanians – the men and women who pay his salary.”
Young added that Turzai’s privatization scheme has raised red flags among his fellow legislators, as well.
“Most lawmakers now understand that House Bill 11 calls for substantial tax hikes on the most popular brands sold today. The cost for wine and spirits would increase dramatically under Turzai’s proposal,” Young said.
Lawmakers in both parties; independent experts and the recently released study of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board by Public Financial Management all agree that House Bill 11 would be a tax hike.
Turzai wants the state to shift to a gallonage tax, a change that would increase prices on most of the top 50 selling wines and spirits immediately. House Bill 11 also calls for annual tax hikes based on a cost of living adjustment after five years.
The PFM study found that in order for the state to maintain the revenue that the PLCB now generates, Pennsylvania would have the highest tax rate on wine and the 14th highest tax rate on spirits in the nation.
“I hear no one in Pennsylvania clamoring for higher taxes on wine and spirits,” Young said. “Rep. Turzai needs to listen to his constituents and not a handful of special interests looking to make a quick buck by destroying this valuable publicly-owned asset. Lawmakers need to focus on the real issues we confront in Pennsylvania. They need to focus on creating jobs, not killing them.”
Nov. 4, 2011
For immediate release
Contact: William Epstein, 619-505-6105