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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sacred Cows Sacraficed Idaho Budget $300 Million Short

We read in our morning paper Idaho will face a shorfall of well over $300 Million for the next budget year. 

It doesn't take a genius to figure out a lot of "sacred cows" are going to get gored this year.  The obvious one nobody wants to talk about is education.  It is the largest part of the Idaho State Budget.  One elected representative threw out the idea that kindergarten will surely be one of the areas facing budget cuts to education this year.  I don't think property taxpayers are in any mood to pay more taxes to schools this year like they did last year.  We can expect a lot of noise over this issue.

Idaho Legislature has to come up with a balanced budget no matter how painful and how deep the cuts go this year.  Difficult choices face all areas of state government to cover the shortfall.  How this gets done will make for some great soundbites and discussion by all concerned citizens.

One section of the Idaho government THE GUARDIAN finds interesting is the State Liquor Dispensary.  The name sounds so sterile and sanitary when you say it out loud.  It is the 21st century and the name has such a antiquated ring to it.

Elected officials have to ask themselves why the state is in the retail liquor business.  All of the overhead associated with the liquor business could go away if the sales of liquor were handed over to private business.  Retail outlets could do business directly with distributors and we could eliminate the entire Liquor Dispensary, their retail operations, their staffs, warehouses and distribution vehicles.

We have never understood just how this antiquated system is a benefit of any kind to residents and taxpayers.  It is our suggestion this bit of nostalgia simply go away in 2011.  It would be a revenue neutral move to do away with this area of Idaho Government.


  1. Let's ask our Mormon friends why this state and Utah have liquor dispensaries.

    Separation of church and state anyone? The Mormon way is the only way in Idaho.

  2. Privatize the booze. I'm tried of the sullen and surly clerks at the state liquor store, fire them all so I can buy my Jack Daniels at Albertson's or Paul's, from those sullen and surly folks! Cheers

  3. Fiona says,

    I went to the State Liquor Dispensary website and their "overhead" is $17.4 million and they return $46million to the State.

    It is a business model ripe for change. I say keep the profit margins and turn the sales over to Albertson's, Costco, Fred Meyer etc. The State has no reason to be in the retail liquor business.

    I would like to know if there are any advantages of this business model but from where I sit I can't see any reason for the state to be selling booze.

  4. First booze, now storage units.....

  5. George says..

    I went after this issue several years back and ran into a brick wall with the legislature. There is a huge LDS influence and their view is this is a reasonable accomodation to the gentiles. They want "temperance" and the dispensary system discourages consumption of the expensive stuff. Meanwhile Joe-sixpack, Joe-college and the winos can drink to their hearts content via the local grocery store.

    The whole notion of a liquor dispensary is just plain silly when you get right down to it

  6. When I worked at the National Reactor Test Station, ran by the Atomic Energy Commision, near Arco, ID, the LDS from Idaho Falls did their drinking in the Pocaello bars, and the LDS from Pocatello, drank in the Idaho Falls bars. This was in the 1960's. Seemed to work well for these folks.
    Idaho was selling booze back then, as they are today.
    Temperance for the other fella seems to be alive and well in 2010 Idaho.


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