The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has voted to approve a five-percent increase in the state mark-up on liquor. The board’s decision will raise the current mark-up from 30 percent to 35 percent or about a dollar on a $30 bottle. The Board’s decision comes after a 35-day public comment period and goes into effect on November 1, 2017.
The three-member Board voted unanimously to approve the increase. The proposal is expected to generate about $8.2 million in additional revenue. Under state law, income generated from the increase flows to the General Fund; however, language included in next year’s General Fund Budget designates $6 million for District Attorneys and $2.2 million for the Unified Judicial System. The proposal was offered as an alternative to a slew of legislative proposals to raise the sales tax on spirits by five percent in certain counties.
Barry Matson, executive director of the Alabama District Attorneys Association, told the Board prior to the vote that many district attorneys and court offices are unable to function because of a decrease in state funding. “We are at our wits end,” he said. “Without this increase, we cannot carry out our constitutional duties.”
The last time the state mark-up on liquor was increased was 1983.