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Three ways Virginia could raise the price of liquor, per McAuliffe's budget

October 22, 2014

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's announcement this week that the state would make up some of its budget deficit by increasing the markup on distilled spirits already has those in the hospitality industry gearing up for paying more — and thus charging more — for drinks.

McAuliffe didn't outline how exactly the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control would raise an additional $2.5 million from the liquor markup, but ABC is considering three options, according to a letter sent to stakeholders Wednesday and provided to the Washington Business Journal.

Though some specifics of the proposals are not included, the basics of those options are:

  • Increasing the case-handling fee: ABC currently charges $1 per case for distilled spirits, a fee that was implemented in 1988 and hasn't been increased since.
  • Increasing the liquor markup on "miniature" liquor bottles, which many people refer to as "airline bottles." Those bottles currently have a 50 percent markup from ABC as opposed to an average 69 percent markup on other sizes, according to ABC.
  • Across the board markup increase:This would affect all alcoholic beverages offered for sale in ABC stores.

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