Idaho considers privatizing liquor sales

on 01/02/11 at 2:48 pm

Industry

BOISE — Privatizing Idaho’s liquor distribution system might be feasible, but the state could realize substantial savings even with the existing structure, a new report concludes.

The report was produced by the Office of Performance Evaluation, which analyzes state agencies for the Legislature. It was asked last year to evaluate the efficiency of the State Liquor Division.

Idaho and Utah are two of 18 states that directly control the distribution and sale of alcohol. The Liquor Division includes a distribution warehouse, 66 state-owned retail stores and 100 contract stores.

Last year the division generated more than $47 million in profits, on record sales of $137 million. A little more than half the profits went to cities and counties; the state general fund received $13 million and the remainder went to public schools, court services, substance abuse treatment and other miscellaneous funds.

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