BIll OKs liquor stores keeping some profits

First Published      Last Updated Mar 09 2017 02:38 pm

The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control could finally be able to keep some of the ever-growing profits from its state liquor stores.

SB155 would allow the agency to keep $1 million for employee salaries and incentives, capital and equipment purchases and technology upgrades.

Current law requires DABC to return all annual profits to the state, with the liquor agency's operating budget set each year by the Legislature.

The House voted 68-0 to approve SB155. The Senate previously passed it 28-0, and will need to vote on it again because the House added an amendment to clarify that the money could be used for employee salaries.

"This allows us to be a little more nimble and address things that are really critical for the department," DABC executive director Sal Petilos said in an earlier hearing.

Between July 2015 and June 2016, sales at Utah's state-owned liquor stores brought in a record $405.9 million, excluding taxes, a 7.8 percent increase from the previous fiscal year.

­— Lee Davidson