WRAL Investigates: Alcoholic Beverage Control system
North Carolina makes about $275 million in liquor sales each year, which benefits the state's General Fund and the cities and counties where alcohol sales are allowed. However, some Alcoholic Beverage Control stores lose money each year, despite a new liquor law that is supposed to help struggling stores.
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.
With less than three days left in the 2010 legislative session, lawmakers worked furiously to try to hammer out details and vote on bills that would reform government ethics rules and the state's liquor sales system.
Lawmakers raised the excise tax on liquor last year by 20 percent to help balance the budget, but local liquor boards now complain that the move has dented their bottom lines.
The majority of North Carolina residents don't want the state to completely privatize the state-run liquor system, according to a poll released Friday.
North Carolina has hired an outside consultant to place a dollar value on the state-run liquor distribution business in case lawmakers decide to privatize it.
North Carolina's ABC liquor system has been under fire for its big bonuses, perks and salaries that are all over the map. Some question whether the system as a whole needs to change, but not everyone knows how the system works.
An executive with a liquor company at the center of a controversial dinner involving Mecklenburg County Alcoholic Beverage Control members turned over nearly two dozen receipts on Thursday for dinners he had with members of local ABC boards across the state.
The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission on Wednesday called for tougher ethics standards by liquor distributors and local ABC boards in the wake of recent reports of lavish salaries and extravagant parties.
Stephen Culbreth, a former member of the New Hanover County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board said in an interview with WRAL News that, in light of recent controversy, the board probably should have paid their top administrator less money.
All three New Hanover County Alcoholic Beverage Control board members resigned Monday, the same day county commissioners planned to discuss the salary of the ABC board's administrator.
At the direction of Gov. Bev Perdue, the state ABC Commission has asked local ABC stores to submit salary and policy information.
The public versus private debate has centered on North Carolina's $720 million a year alcohol business, which is run by the state government.
Alcohol is a $720 million a year business in North Carolina, and state law allows North Carolina government to have a monopoly on sales. However, a number of ABC stores across the state are barely surviving or are losing money.