The North Carolina House just introduced a bill that could completely eliminate the states Alcohol Control Board division! House Bill 971 would allow private liquor retailers to open up across the state. As it sits now, the ABC board owns and controls 500 liquor stores across the state. Some experts estimate that privately owned liquor stores would triple if the bill passes. There are a couple of additional details in HB971 or the “Modern Licensure Model for Alcohol Control” bill that stand out as well:
- Grocery stores and other retailers would be allowed to sell liquor.
- Any new liquor store would have to be 500 yards or more from the nearest competing liquor stores.
- The new bill would allow liquor sales on Sunday if local municipalities vote on and approve it.
- The privatization bill would do away with the state's "mixed beverage charge" of $20 per four liters that restaurants now pay, cutting their costs. It would also change the way liquor is taxed for the general public, moving from a 30 percent tax on a bottle's cost to a $28-per-gallon excise tax. That would make cheap liquor a little more expensive and high-end liquor a little less expensive.
The bill is "miles away" from passage and may not even be introduced to vote on until NEXT year. As you can imagine, there has already been a TON of push back from religious groups and social conservatives. Reversly it's received support from the state's restaurant, lodging and retail association. READ MORE HERE!