Youngkin administration criticizes falling ABC profits
Four years after Virginia transitioned its Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control into an authority in an effort to make the state agency run more like a business, Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration says ABC isn’t generating the additional funding for Virginia as originally intended.
Administration officials told ABC’s Board of Directors last week the authority’s profits and contributions to state coffers have declined in recent years while operating costs have increased $135 million since 2017.
Virginia Chief Transformation Officer Eric Moeller said ABC’s contributions have declined from a peak of $229 million in 2021 to $227 million in 2022 and $221 million in 2023 even as revenue generated by the authority increased by nearly $100 million over the same time period.
“All that growth has not resulted in bottom-line cash to the economy,” said Moeller at the July 20 Board of Directors meeting.
While ABC officials say they don’t dispute the administration’s findings, they argue the authority’s financial transfers to Virginia’s general and other funds continue to “exceed the expectations” of General Assembly budget projections. Additionally, they say the rising costs can be attributed to investments in authority operations and employees that are intended to yield long-term benefits.
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