Harrisburg, Pa. – Despite the economic impacts of COVID-19 shut downs, which closed many state liquor stores, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (LCB) still posted record net incomes this year. 

Sales in the most recently completed fiscal year totaled $2.56 billion (including liquor and sales taxes) which was $110.9 million less than the prior year. Net income for the year, however, totaled a record $208.7 million.
This year's net income was $17.7 million or 9.2% higher than the prior fiscal year and exceeded the PLCB’s $185.1 million contribution to the General Fund by $23.6 million.
The increase in net income was due primarily to decreased operating expenses related to other post-employment benefit (OPEB) costs and pension expenses.
Contributions to state and local governments and other beneficiaries totaled $745.1 million for the fiscal year.
Contributions to the General Fund, which finances Pennsylvania’s schools, health and human services programs, law enforcement, and public safety initiatives, among other important public services, totaled $694.8 million. General Fund contributions consisted of the following:
  • $365.7 million in liquor tax;
  • $143.9 million in state sales tax; and 
  • $185.1 million in cash transfers. 
Other PLCB contributions over the course of the fiscal year included the following:
  • $30.8 million to the Pennsylvania State Police for liquor control enforcement efforts;
  • $8.8 million in local sales taxes to Philadelphia and Allegheny county;
  • $4.3 million in licensing fees for return to local municipalities; and 
  • $4.2 million to the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. 
Additionally, the PLCB authorized $2.2 million in grants in fiscal year 2019-20 in support of Pennsylvania’s beer and wine industries and awarded $816,630 in alcohol education grants during the year to reduce underage and dangerous drinking.
Until the COVID-19 public health crisis, the PLCB had achieved year-over-year sales growth each year for the past 26 years. For eight months of fiscal year 2019-20, PLCB Fine Wine & Good Spirits sales were on a record pace; however, beginning in the middle of March, retail stores temporarily closed and e-commerce operations were briefly suspended in support of COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
The PLCB is the only commonwealth enterprise fund whose financials are separately reported in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. 

This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.