Last call for the state Liquor Control Board?
It may be, if House Majority Leader Mike Turzai has his way.
The Republican from Allegheny County unveiled his much-anticipated bill today to get the state out of the business of selling alcohol. His legislation calls for auctioning off both retail and wholesale licenses and changing the tax structure to try and match the revenue that the Liquor Control Board currently kicks in to state coffers.
Turzai’s bill would sell off a total of 1,250 retail licenses – 750 so-called “class A” licenses (for retail outlets with 15,000 or more square feet) and 500 “class B” licenses (for retailers with less than 15,000 square feet). The top House Republican would also wipe out the current automatic 30 percent markup that the Liquor Control Board places on its products, as well as the additional 18 percent tax, known as the Johnstown flood tax, that gets slapped on the sale of wine and hard liquor in Pennsylvania. Turzai would replace those taxes with a gallonage tax based on the type of liquor and alcohol content.