Comptroller Peter Franchot on Tuesday will release an economic impact study on the effect of introducing private sector competition into Montgomery County’s public liquor control system.
Franchot, who has been a leading critic of the county’s public control regimen, will release the study during an event at Jackie’s Restaurant in Silver Spring at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Also in attendance will be Del. Bill Frick, D-Bethesda, who—in advance of the 2016 General Assembly session—has introduced a bill to authorize a public referendum on whether to allow private wholesalers and distributors to compete with the county’s Department of Liquor Control (DLC).
The report to be released by Franchot has been prepared by the state’s Bureau of Revenue Estimates, which is a part of the comptroller’s office. It is expected to focus on the potential economic benefits to businesses and consumers of opening the current system to private competition.
Critics of the plan to alter the current public control regimen have contended it would mean a loss of the roughly $34 million that the county receives annually from profits generated by the DLC. It is not clear if the study will examine whether private sector competition could generate comparable tax revenues for the county budget.