Liquor Sales and Distribution
By statute, all liquor sold in New Hampshire must be sold through a sales and distribution system operated by the State Liquor Commission. Liquor under direct state control includes wine and spirits. This Commission is directed by the statute to set liquor prices at levels sufficient to cover all operating costs of the Commission and state liquor stores, with a profit margin to the State. The Commission currently operates 76 stores throughout the State.
The SLC is also responsible, under RSA 178:26, for collection of a 30 cent per gallon tax on the sale of beer. Cash flow from operations is unrestricted and deposited into the State's pooled bank accounts. Revenue accounts of the General Fund are credited monthly for the Commission's operating profit. An amount up to 5% of gross profits at times have been deposited into an Alcohol Abuse Prevetion and Treatment Fund established by RSA 176-A:1. This provision was further suspended for FY 2011 under the special session.
Liquor sales and distribution and the collection of beer tax generated $133.6 million in fiscal year 2010. Through the first nine months of the current fiscal year, $93.7 million has been generated which is slightly behind plan and $2.6 million ahead of prior year. Retail sales lower than expectation, and the timing of certain expenses, has resulted in the transfer being slightly less than plan.