This year the Legislature reduced the State Liquor Commission’s budget, resulting in the likely closure of a number of neighborhood liquor stores. Should the Liquor Commission’s budget have been cut as much as other state agencies, considering the fact that those liquor stores produce a profit for the state?
The market for liquor should be privatized and the government monopoly should be done away with.
The legislature needs to use some intelligence when making decisions. If they would listen to constituents rather than be bullied by their chosen leaders, they would stay out of trouble. This was one of several really stupid decisions.
Incredulous!!!!! These are the people in charge of our money!
We're talking about a monopoly here. If closing a few liquor stores reduces the amount of drinking in the state, that actually would be a good thing, saving many a family fight, and more than a few auto fatalities. But let's get real, it will simply shift the purchases to other state stores, a slight inconvenience for drinkers, but a big dollar savings for the state. The state's volume of business will remain about the same, and the state will continue to roll in the revenues.
If something isn't broke, why fix it?
The public isn't buying the story that the cuts are to save money. It looks to most that the motive is to reduce consumption. It certainly isn't a smart business move.
If you provide retail services that generate revenues why wouldn't you increase the service and increase revenues for the state? In my opinion, "cutting this budget like other state budgets" explanation is lame excuse for doing something that obviously panders to their conservative base rather than making good economic sense.
Frankly, the State should get out of the liquor business. Funny how a state run by conservatives who admonish government competition with the private sector and government regulations somehow think it's OK to be 'parental' over this industry.
This reduction was not needed nor warranted.
I live in an area where a store has been closed. The only close alternative is the store downtown. The facility is wholly inadequate as it is. Long lines, no parking, limited selection. Because they are a monopoly, they should also consider convenience, safety, and selection.
The Legislature, once again, is feeling the wrath of reality from their micromanaging.
It depends. They should be forced to look for efficiencies and make cuts accordingly.
The legislature fails to recognize that there are agencies that bring in money. Cutting profitable stores is like eliminating auditors at the tax commission who bring in millions. Budget cuts should be done with a scalpel not a cleaver.
The closings are not only likely, but some have already occurred. Of course, one solution to the budget issue is to have Utah get out of the business of liquor sales altogether, and leave it to private industry. A win-win.
It is all smoke and mirrors. The issue is cutting alcohol use, not cutting budgets.
It was boneheaded. It was the Legislature failing remedial math. It was stupid. It was religious, too.
DABC makes money - a lot of money. It shouldn't have been cut at all. These cut will also reduce revenue for cities, towns and counties as well as the school lunch program.
Liquor stores (ooohhh, keep folks shaking in fear!) are profitable - isn't that the point? Doesn't profit help the State? All this is doing is creating less money for the State, while at the same time, creating more unemployment. Unemployed people often need assistance; therefore, more people on Medicaid; Food Stamps...even needing rental or housing assistance...staying up on their bills. Hopefully, they won't lose their homes, or have medical problems, because - I assume - they will have lost medical benefits. Yeah for our Legislature for yet another well-thought out idea!
What is the thinking?? We're killing a cash cow. Closing the stores will not reduce alcohol consumption if that is the intent of some of the conservative lawmakers. This was NOT vetted in the legislative process. Who made the decision?
Budget cuts can be handled in different ways. The best is to become more efficient in what you do. There appears ways for DABC to meet the budget cuts requested and by restricting what they are doing, still maintain their profit level.
The cuts weren't about money they were about the sins of Demon Rum.
It was a political revenge that was justified in being penny wise, but pound foolish.
Cutting off your nose (which produces revenue) to spite your face, but after all, our face expresses Utah sincerity. That is, the check is in the mail...
Privatize, privatize, privatize. The state should not be in the retail business.
The legislature asked the DABC to do a study to maximize revenues and minimize expenses. When this is done they will be a better managed agency and have no loss of sales.
Do you think closing liquor stores will simply cause liquor buyers to travel to other stores, so that the state sees no net loss in liquor sales? Or, will people buy less liquor in Utah?
The problem is Utahns need to realize we are not all the same. Some people actually do drink alcohol and don't believe they will go to hell for doing so. The point is, why make it so difficult for those who want the convenience, let them have it. By the way, I don't drink if that matters, which it shouldn't.
Duh!!!! This is a lose, lose, scenario.
Shopping for liquor is already an inconvenient experience in Utah so, assuming the ABC uses some basic retail modeling for selecting the store closures (access, bandwidth, selection, etc...), there should be a pretty flat impact on revenue from liquor sales.
Instead people will just stock up out of state. You can't regulate morality and not everyone in Utah thinks drinking is a sin. Legislatures need to just pull their heads out.
Consumers who drink will travel across the border to get alcohol.
Abolish the ABC and privatize liquor sales.
Reduce services and you reduce revenues. Their rationale is based on the assumption that anyone who drinks is an "addict" that has to get a fix. It simply isn't the case. If they make it more and more inconvenient, people will buy less and it will impact profits.
We should privatize the liquor stores. This is one more instance of the state interfering in people's private lives!
I for one will not go to the downtown store on weekends. I also travel to St. George several times a year and recently did a side trip to Mesquite. I would do that rather than put up with the situation here. Planning purchases here does help, but it's a lousy way to treat your customers.
By this reasoning there would never be more than one starbucks or one 7-11 in a city. The legislature always talks about running government more like a business, but they either do not know what that means, or they simply ignore it when it suits them. You can't ignore the needs and desires of your customers just because you operate a monopoly.
I don't believe that there will be a reduction in liquor sales, but frustration is already high because of the limitations on outlets to begin with and making people drive further only adds to that frustration. Who knows, liquor sales might even go up -- it might actually drive more people to drink.
Yes, less in Utah, but more in Wyoming.
This is one more reason for people to drive to Evanston, Wyoming; Malad, Idaho; or Mesquite, Nevada to stock up where liquor prices are much less. The state should privatize retail liquor stores - Rep. Ryan Wilcox is headed in the right direction.
People who drink are not necessarily motivated enough to drive further to get their alcohol...not everyone who drinks are alcoholics. We should be like other states; beer and wine are available in grocery stores; and in some states, you can get the real stuff at a 7-11!
The SLC downtown store is already packed and the traffic at certain times of the day is a real challenge; if it is more difficult to navigate going to that store I think people will make less frequent trips. It is also a location utilized by tourists who stay at area hotels. Do we really want to drive visitor business away, too?
Net gain. Growth minus loss from closed stores.
There will still be plenty of stores nearby if the decision is to close stores. If they reduce costs in other ways, people can still find ways to buy all the alcohol they can either want or afford.
Which is what the Legislature wants. I wish that Utah County and Davis County would just go dry and let's see what happens.
While there will be no net loss because of general market gains, there will be fewer purchases than if the stores had remained open.
UHP will issue more citations for out of state liquor and lawyers will make more money defending the good taxpayers of Utah.
Respondents include -
Fred Adams, Stuart Adams, Jess Agraz, Jeff Alexander, Patrice Arent, Bruce Baird, Tom Barberi, Jeff Bell, Tom Berggren, Mike Bertelsen, Rob Bishop, Laura Black, Chris Bleak, Curt Bramble, Ralph Brown, Dave Buhler, Ken Bullock, Ric Cantrell, Maura Carabello, Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Lou Ann Christensen, David Clark, Peter Corroon, Lew Cramer, Richard Davis, Brad Daw, Alan Dayton, Margaret Dayton, Brad, Dee, Joseph Demma, John Dougall, Randy Dryer, Donald Dunn, Becky Edwards, Wendy Fisher, Ronald Fox, Natalie Gochnour, David Hansen, Jeff Hartley, Jeff Hatch, Lyle Hillyard, Bruce Hough, Scott Howell, Eric Jergensen, Mike Jerman, Kirk Jowers, Chris Kyler, Fred Lampropoulos, Douglas Larson, Larry Lunt, Matt Lyon, Ben McAdams, Gayle McKeachnie, JT Martin, Ethan Millard, Brett Millburn, Karen Morgan, Mike Mower, Val Oveson, Scott Parson, Jason Powers, Lauren Richards, Robin Riggs, Don Savage, Bryan Schott, Patrick Shea, Tim Sheehan, Randy Shumway, Soren Simonsen, Mike Styler, Todd Taylor, Gary Thorup, Michael Waddoups, Chuck Warren, Christine Watkins, LaVarr Webb, Todd Weiler, Ted Wilson, Carl Wimmer, Mike Winder, Thomas Wright