Virginia ABC stores will see a liquor mark-up that will account for $2.5 million that is going to help close the $2.4 million dollar revenue gap in the state budget, reports The Richmond-Times Dispatch.
While the total markup, and its subsequent effect on the price of distilled spirits in Virginia stores, has not been determined the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control is looking to raise money to invest in financial management and other information technology to modernize their system, which as of now still depends on cash and paper transactions.
“ABS is now in the process of considering various approaches to implementing a markup that will assist in addressing not only the commonwealth’s needs, but also the pressing infrastructure needs of ABC,” remarked secretary to the ABC board S. Chris Curtis in a letter on Oct. 16 to alcohol industry stakeholders.
The current markup is already at an average of 69 percent per bottle that passes through ABC’s warehouse in Richmond, has drawn much criticism from the liquor industry that has dubbed it as a “stealth alcohol tax.”
While the liquor industry supports ABC’s goal of modernizing their system, they feel that the General Assembly should pay for it with it’s profits of $140 million from revenue from taxes of liquor, wine and beer which flowed almost $250 million into the state treasury.