Analyst on State’s Liquor-Price Hike: It’s Going to Increase ‘Border Bleed’

A Chester resident crosses the border to purchase wine in Claymont, Del. Image via Justine McDaniel, Philadelphia Inquirer.

If your favorite beer or wine suddenly costs more, don’t blame store management.

All state-run liquor stores in Pennsylvania are tacking on an extra $1 to $100 per bottle of 421 select brands of liquor as part of the first government-imposed price hike in almost 25 years, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report by Justine McDaniel.

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While the price hike covers less than five percent of the entire state liquor inventory, many popular brands were targeted. The extra funding collected by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board as a result will help bolster the state budget.

The decision comes despite the fact that studies show alcohol consumption will drop with higher prices, and it affects residents as well as “restaurateurs and hoteliers who must buy their alcohol from the state,” the article explained.

Analysts like Swarthmore College Professor John Caskey say the price hikes will hit suburbs in Chester County and Delaware County hardest.

“Any price increase is going to slightly increase the border bleed, and every bit of price increase you get is going to increase the incentive for people to drive out of state,” he said.

Read more about the impending liquor price increase in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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