New liquor taxes won't fly in Virginia

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Steven Pearlstein's endorsement of privatizing Virginia's liquor stores is flawed ["Drink up, Virginia, to a winning proposition," Economy & Business, Aug. 18]. Its financial soundness is predicated on the enactment or increase of three taxes: (1) an increase in the current liquor excise tax, (2) a new sales tax on restaurant liquor sales and (3) a new tax/fee on the market value of the license upon its periodic renewal. These taxes are not part of the plan but are Mr. Pearlstein's ideas and would require legislative action.

One only needs to look at the Virginia legislature's recent refusal to raise one of the nation's lowest cigarette tax to realize there is no chance any tax increase would be enacted. Without them, privatization gives away a good state revenue source.

John Swieca, Great Falls

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