Heartland Institute Praises Effort to Stop Arbitrary LCB Fee Increases

Published June 13, 2011

On Monday, June 13, state Rep. Mark Mustio (R-Moon Township) introduced legislation that will prohibit the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board from implementing any fee or price increase without the approval of the legislature and governor.

The following statements from budget and tax policy experts at TheHeartland Institute may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below.

“Rep. Mark Mustio’s proposal to take the power of raising so-called handling ‘fees’ on alcohol out of the hands of unelected bureaucrats and place it back into the hands of publicly elected representatives is long overdue. Taxpayers should keep in mind that fee increases are often just a politically more-desirable way of saying tax increases.

“Efforts to increase taxes or ‘fees’ on any product, including alcohol, should not be allowed to bypass the legislative process. The current fee-raising powers granted to Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board are undemocratic in nature and put taxpayers in an extremely vulnerable position with little recourse.

“While government should get out of the business of running liquor stores all together, the state should at least allow taxpayers the opportunity to hold their elected officials accountable.”

John Nothdurft
Director of Government Relations 
The Heartland Institute 
[email protected]

“Lawmakers are our representatives, not non-elected government bureaucrats who are largely unaccountable once they land their jobs. So I’m glad to learn of Mustio’s bill to block Pennsylvania’s Liquor Control Board from raising fees without approval from lawmakers and the governor. Lawmakers and governors are responsible for state fiscal policy and therefore should be in control of state government-related fees and taxes.”

Steve Stanek
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy 
The Heartland Institute 
Managing Editor 
Budget & Tax News
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, DC. For more information, visit our Web site at http://www.heartland.org or call 312/377-4000.