LETTER: New PLCB pricing law win for consumers, taxpayers
The recent complaints from representatives of the distilled spirits industry (“Liquor system changes could lead to markups,” Nov. 22) about the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s new flexible pricing policy show the true concerns of those industry members: themselves.
Pennsylvania’s new pricing law will allow the PLCB to negotiate prices with alcohol suppliers, enabling the agency to receive a lower acquisition price while not raising shelf prices on consumers in Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores. The result of this higher profit margin means more revenue for public schools, social services and additional funding to combat Pennsylvania’s opioid crisis. This is a win for consumers and taxpayers together.
The only critics of this policy are a few wealthy, out-of-state spirits producers that are strictly worried about their bottom line rather than what is best for their customers in Pennsylvania. The trade association representing a handful of these producers, the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS), wrongly states that flexible pricing will mean “state stores can hike prices or horde savings.” This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The PLCB intends to keep prices the same or lower in some cases as stated in recent Pennsylvania House Liquor Control Committee testimony. The savings earned from this new policy will be passed on to state treasury and other key state agencies, not hoarded by the PLCB as DISCUS states. Suggesting otherwise is disingenuous and distracts Pennsylvanians from the true benefits of pricing flexibility.
While there are many questionable policies that will come out of Pennsylvania’s new liquor law, the ability for the agency to get better prices from producers to benefit taxpayers and consumers is the right path forward for our state.