State liquor sales rise for eighth straight year
By Mark Fisher
Friday, January 19, 2007
With record dollars spent on liquor ($655.7 million) and record volume consumed (an even 10 million gallons), there is no doubt Ohioans experienced a very spirited 2006.
The dollar figure marks the eighth consecutive year of record liquor sales, according to the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control.
"Ohio has seen a steady increase in liquor dollar sales over the past eight years mostly due to increases in product prices, a continuation of the trend of consumers buying more premium-priced products, and a rise in the level of consumption," said Rae Ann Estep, Ohio's liquor-control superintendent.
Consumption has risen from 8.5 million gallons to 10 million gallons since 2000.
Estep said her division deserves some of the credit for the increased sales.
"Other factors that contributed to the record sales include better inventory management and product selection, better management of contract liquor agency locations, and the opening of stores in underserved and economically viable areas," she said.
More liquor sales means more tax money for the state: In fiscal year 2006, $138 million in liquor sales revenue was transferred to the state's general revenue fund, and an additional $49.3 million in liquor sales revenue was earmarked for other state services such as liquor law enforcement, alcohol treatment and education, prevention programs and the retirement of bonds. Another $65.5 million in state sales and gallonage taxes on liquor was deposited into the state's treasury, liquor-control officials said.
The state oversees the purchase and distribution of all liquor in Ohio, while 425 private businesses such as wine shops and grocery stores act as sales agents for the state.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2258 or mfisher@DaytonDailyNews.com