In this morning's Morning Fizz, we questioned the logic of privatizing state liquor sales. GOP leaders pitched the idea in a Seattle Times op/ed this week as one way to address the state budget crisis by cutting government costs and bringing in money—without raising taxes.

Here was our question: Making it last call for the WSLCB would only save $120 million (their operating budget for running state liquor stores) while losing booze revenue would sap $330 million from the state. The difference? Negative $210 million. So, how does this help?

The senate Democrats called us this morning—Democratic state Senator Tim Sheldon (D-35) is co-sponsoring a liquor store privatization bill with Republican state Senator Curtis King (R-14)—to explain.

Yes, they acknowledged, the equation of shutting down state run stores + losing booze revenue (we still get the taxes, though that's not nearly enough to make up the difference) is a loser.

But there's more to the idea. The state would auction off the 160 liquor store licenses (worth $200 million) and sell the booze distribution warehouse they own along the Duwamish ($30 million).

So, privatizing liquor sales nets the state $20 million ($230 million minus $210 million) right off the bat.
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