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ABC system earns money, but some boards still operate at loss

Posted December 28, 2012
Updated January 2, 2013

— In North Carolina, hard liquor like gin and rum are sold by local ABC boards, independent units of local government overseen by a state ABC Commission. In its most recent annual report, the commission reported that between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, retail liquor sales climbed 6.54 percent over the prior fiscal year. North Carolinians bought $795.4 million worth of spirits during that 12 month period, and that doesn’t count beer and wine sales. Of that $795.4 million, $300 million came to state and local government coffers.

But the report was not all good news.

Some smaller ABC systems struggle to make a profit. Of the 165 ABC boards across the state, the report says 12 operated at a loss for the most recent fiscal year. They were: 

ABC BoardCountyFY12 Loss
Valdese Burke$20,240
Mount PleasantCabarrus $4,472
CooleemeeDavie$13,206
Bessemer City Gaston$4,222
Gates  Gates County$3,595
CantonHaywood$8,245
TryonPolk$24,769
MaxtonRobeson$4,697
Garland Sampson$1,098
NorwoodStanly$4,605
WingateUnion$17,683
BurnsvilleYancey $2,090

That’s better than Fiscal Year 2011, when 23 systems lost money on their government-run liquor monopolies. 

These problems have had the attention of the General Assembly's Program Evaluation Division and related problems have made news as well.

Wake County, one of the state’s largest ABC boards, and the system's most profitable, sold $89.8 million during the fiscal year ending June 30 and earning a 16 percent profit.

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  • jrfergerson Jan 3, 9:30 a.m.

    WOW that should tell us that there are a lot of drunk drivers behind the wheels of vehicles on the roads. So can we expect our courts to prosper in funds or have more lawyers and judges with padded pockets.