Gov. Tom Corbett on Wednesday presented a plan to privatize Pennsylvania's liquor stores, which have been on a short leash held by the state since...forever.
The conversation among legislators, Corbett and the state's liquor-governing agency, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, in the coming months will be interesting to be sure. But here are five facts you may not know about the people who stock our liquor stores:
1. There are 605 liquor stores in Pennsylvania: 504 self-service stores, 72 premium collection stores, 19 one-stop stores, nine wholesale stores and one e-commerce store. Of those, 159 are open on Sunday.
2. There is an 18 percent tax on every bottle of wine and liquor sold in Pennsylvania that is referred to as the "Johnstown Flood Tax" originally imposed in 1936 to pay for the damage imposed by the Johnstown Flood. It has never been repealed and has, in total, collected more than $15 billion that now goes into state coffers.
3. When you buy a $10 bottle of wine, $5.50 goes for the wine and federal taxes; $1.50 goes to store, warehouse and transportation costs; 40 cents goes to administrative, alcohol education, licensing and litigation funding; 10 cents goes to billings from other Commonwealth agencies such as Civil Service Commission, comptroller and payroll, Department of the Auditor General and more; 10 cents goes to contributions to other agencies such as license fees returned to local municipalities, state police liquor enforcement and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs; 60 cents goes to state and local taxes; $1.40 goes to the 18 percent liquor tax (the Johnstown Flood Tax), and 40 cents transfers to the general fund.
4. The PLCB has about 4,439 employees, excluding its seasonal workforce. Most of those employees work in stores.
5. PA Wine & Spirits stores generated approximately $2.1 billion in revenue in 2011-12.
Sources: PLCB and The Johnstown Flood Tax