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State sales of wine, spirits increase 3.4 percent

| Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 5:54 p.m.

State wine and spirits sales increased 3.4 percent in the first half of the 2013-14 fiscal year, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by the Liquor Control Board.

Pennsylvania's more than 600 state stores posted sales of $949.6 million from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2013. Wine sales grew 3.4 percent and spirits sales increased 3.3 percent over the same six-month period, the LCB reported.

The LCB turned over more than $236.5 million in sales and liquor taxes to the state, an increase of $7.4 million over the first six months of 2012-13.

The figures were released ahead of the agency's budget hearing before the state Senate Appropriations Committee, slated for Wednesday in Harrisburg.

At the hearing, LCB officials will tout sales and cost-cutting measures and lawmakers will question the agency about programs and other initiatives to determine the amount of revenue they will require the LCB to turn over to the state's General Fund, which is in addition to money generated by taxes.

Gov. Tom Corbett reiterated his call for lawmakers to privatize wine and spirits sales in his annual budget address earlier this month.

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