Franchot: Ending Alcohol Monopoly Would Add $193.7 Million, 1,364 New Jobs to Local Economy

Comptroller Released New Study Conducted by State’s Bureau of Revenue Estimates

Silver Spring, Md. (December 22, 2015) – Citing benefits to Montgomery County consumers and small businesses, Comptroller Peter Franchot announced the findings of a Bureau of Revenue Estimates study that examined the economic impact that private sector competition would have on sales and distribution of alcohol in Montgomery County during a press event this morning at Jackie’s Restaurant in Silver Spring.

“This study provides empirical confirmation of what consumers and small businesses have been saying for years: that the County’s alcohol monopoly is bad for consumers, for small businesses and for our local economy,” Comptroller Franchot said. “It’s long overdue that we leave this Prohibition-era system in the era of Prohibition, so we can bring this desperately-needed economic activity back into our communities, create quality jobs, and allow adult consumers, not politicians, to make their own decisions when it comes to purchasing alcohol.”

The study found that removing the marketplace barriers that result from county control over retail sales of liquor and wholesale distribution of alcoholic products would generate an estimate $193.7 million in new economic activity within the state, in addition to creating 1,364 jobs, and generating $52.5 million in new wages. When fully implemented, the new activity and income would generate an estimated $22.8 million in state and local tax revenue.

Under current law, wholesale purchases of alcoholic beverages in Montgomery County can only be made through the Department of Liquor Control (DLC) and off-premise distilled spirits can be purchased at a retail store operated by the county agency. The study found that over 40 percent of county residents work outside the county and, not coincidentally, consumption of alcohol in the county is 41 percent lower than the statewide average, reflecting the fact that Montgomery County consumers are purchasing their alcohol outside the county, most notably, in the District of Columbia.

Joining the Comptroller at the press event was Del. Bill Frick; Jackie Greenbaum, owner of Jackie’s Restaurant; Brian Vasile, owner of Brickside Restaurant in Bethesda; Andrew Schaufele, director of the Bureau of Revenue Estimates; Jane Redicker, president and CEO of Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce; Gianne Italiano, president and CEO of the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce; and other business and civic leaders.

View the Economic Impact Analysis here

Media Contact: Barbara Sauers, 410-260-7438, office; 410-212-9414, cell