Local News

Two dozen ABC boards lost money in 2010 fiscal year

Posted October 20, 2010
Updated October 21, 2010

— Twenty-four of the 163 local Alcoholic Beverage Control boards statewide lost money in the fiscal year that ended in June, according to audits released Wednesday.

The results come as reforms passed by state lawmakers take effect for the ABC boards. The reforms include requiring all board members to receive budgeting and ethics training through a North Carolina community college.

The reforms were prompted by ethics scandals involving ABC employees who drew excessive salaries and board members who accepted gifts from liquor distributors.

The ABC boards that operated in the red included those in Angier, Garland, Kenansville, Maxton, Northampton County, Roseboro and Rowland.

Losing money on operations means the local boards cannot distribute money to local governments, law enforcement agencies and alcohol education programs.

The Wake County ABC Board is among the most profitable statewide, boasting a 15.6 percent profit margin. The Durham County ABC Board has a 6.1 percent profit margin, while the Orange County ABC Board's margin is 5.6 percent.

Statewide, liquor sales were up 1.4 percent in the 2010 fiscal year, to $726.7 million. Expenses for the state-run system rose by 3.2 percent during the year, however.

State ABC Commission Chairman Jon Williams said the sluggish economy has affected liquor sales, as consumers switch to cheaper brands or buy beer instead of liquor.

A year ago, only nine local ABC boards operated at a loss.

The state commission will work with the money-losing ABC boards to try different business strategies, Williams said. Continued losses could result in the state merging the operations into more profitable ones, he said.

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  • nancygooch Oct 22, 2010

    Does anyone not realize the excise tax went up 5% and the sales tax went up 1% last September 1st? Add that to the fact that people are buying cheaper due to the economy, loss of jobs (yeah...shut it down so all the ABC store employees will be jobless too) and the rising cost of liquor. Of course it hurt some of the smaller boards. And not ALL managers/supervisors are getting paid "large" salaries, some are not getting paid enough for all that they do and are responsible for!

  • oleguy Oct 21, 2010

    Close them down,,,, Let the bootleggers have it,,,They know how to run a business and make money

  • whatusay Oct 21, 2010

    Everyone knows why these 12 ABC boards lost money....
    Since when do government employees become millionaires selling taxed liquor? These were family run "state owned" liquor stores. Who appointed them and who approved their salaries? That's the answer.

  • cinbu Oct 21, 2010

    Dump the employees, the real estate, and everything else and sell it where the rest of the consumables are sold, GROCERY STORES. We can still regulate the taxes, and we get rid of the overhead headaches. The market will sort it out... government should NEVER be involved in regulating ANY industry to this extent!

  • cinbu Oct 21, 2010

    How in the Sam Hell do you lose money selling BOOZE?

  • tomfoolery Oct 21, 2010

    Perfect example of a government run system. Couldn't turn a profit on alcohol.

  • Sherlock Oct 21, 2010

    The money went to pay for all the high pay checks given out.

  • truth9806 Oct 21, 2010

    This is a democrat party run system with huge salaries that bring in huge dues to the party.
    They are not going to get rid of this system!

  • luvbailey Oct 21, 2010

    I generally am a small government person, but...if privatized the state will collect less tax money, liquor will be more accessable to kids under age 21, and per capita consumption will increase. None of this is good for society.

    I'm not against liquor - I like a taste myself now and then. NC has one of the highest profit margins and lowest per capita consumption rates in the country. I don't like taxes any more than the next guy but I like this approach better than income or property taxes. And lower per capita consumption is a good thing.

  • wynnediii Oct 21, 2010

    You have to try really hard to lose money in a liquor store. This is unbelievable.

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