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In response to the article in The News Herald on Sunday, July 28, titled "Bill to establish private liquor stores gets hearing but no vote," the Valdese ABC Board would like to share facts Burke County citizens should know about North Carolina’s ABC system.

It ranks 44th lowest in alcohol consumption per capita and seventh highest in revenue per capita. By comparison, South Carolina, a privatized state, ranks 27th in consumption and 38th in revenue.

The NC legislature's Program Evaluation Division (PED) released its report on the NC ABC system in February. It did not recommend privatization and found that among the southeastern states, NC collects the most revenue per gallon, has the lowest outlet density, and has the second lowest per capita consumption.

These statistics support North Carolina remaining a control state. The last three states that have privatized (Washington in 2011, West Virginia in 1991, and Iowa in 1987) have all seen higher consumer prices, less choice, and less revenue for government.

Our control system prioritizes public safety and the responsible sale of spirituous liquor to those who are 21 or older and unimpaired. The Valdese ABC Board takes this responsibility to our community very seriously and believes our system maintains a great balance between the public's welfare and revenue generation.

Among the organizations that share our opposition to privatization are Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Christian Action League as well as a host of NC law enforcement and substance abuse organizations. To view the full list and other pertinent information, visit the NC Keep It Local website established to provide facts about our control system at www.nckeepitlocal.com.

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