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Ballot language for liquor vote OK’d

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

   Kristena Hansen, The Associated Press

…The state Supreme Court on Thursday approved the title language of a November ballot proposal that would allow grocery stores to stock their shelves with distilled liquor across Oregon…

Oregonians Against the Takeover — a coalition formed by the Associated Liquor Stores of Oregon [and] Oregon Beer & Wine Distributors…argues liquor costs would soar as they have in Washington state…

It also says the measure would create a gaping hole in revenue for many public services…

“Oregonians will have a clear choice this November: A yes vote will blow a hole in state, local and mental health budgets, while corporate grocers make big profits,” Ryan Frank, a coalition spokesman, said in a statement Thursday. “A no vote will preserve a system that Oregonians believe works and has allowed Oregon’s craft alcohol industry to thrive.”…

Handing things over to the free market means the state either gives up that revenue entirely or it comes up with a way to preserve it through a new tax…

We Respond & Your Comments

Let’s look at these reasons for not privatizing liquor sales:

  • Liquor costs would “soar” – just like in Washington. They “soared” because government just had to replace lost revenue with new taxes. That’s because…
  • Government can never do with less money. Taxpayers always can. Maybe some lost alcohol tax revenue should be replaced. What we object to is the knee jerk reaction that every tax dollar lost must be “paid for” with new taxes.
  • “Corporate grocers [would] make big profits.” Get it? Only Oregon liquor stores and beer and wine distributors are entitled to make big profits off the liquor monopoly.
  • It would jeopardize the Oregon craft alcohol industry. So we’re supposed to pay more for our cocktails to protect some guy cooking up rotgut in his bathtub and calling the swill “craft.”

Government and liquor peddlers resist privatizing Oregon liquor sales because the state and its booze suppliers have a nice little monopoly going – and they’re not about to give it up.


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