If you Can’t Make Money Selling Alcohol… (Alabama Budget Edition)
Citing a $5.5 million cut to its fiscal year 2016 budget, the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board announced late Thursday that is will have to close or consolidate at least 15 state-run ABC liquor stores. The closures will take place over the next three to six months.
ABC Administrator Mac Gipson announced the closures saying, "the legislature has seriously jeopardized our ability to meet our financial obligations," after finalizing a General Fund budget that, "arbitrarily reduced the ABC Board’s spending authority…"
Gipson said the ABC Board generated $215 million for the General Fund in 2014.
I see on the list provided in the story that the store right around the corner from me is one of the ones slated for closure—I guess I haven’t been doing enough of my part to keep the place afloat.
In any event, it may well be that closing these stores makes fiscal sense (although it would hardly surprise me if many, if not all, of these locations produced positive cash flow) but given that the ABC Board generates revenue, one wonders. I will be curious as to how much the ABC Board generates after the cuts (as I doubt any actual thought went into this). Indeed, I would be curious to know how the stores that will be closed were doing.
(Don’t get me wrong, I would prefer that the state would get out of the liquor business altogether).
Of course, with the closure of a large number of driver’s license offices, maybe this is all a complex anti-drunk driving campaign!