Private liquor sales adding up to pocket pain for consumers


By the end the week, it will cost consumers about $10 more to buy a fifth of liquor at a privately run liquor store.


On Tuesday, 43 state-run stores will be closing before Friday changeover.


The state's current charge for a 750-ml bottle of Absolut Citron Vodka: $22.95. That price includes all fees and taxes.    The distributor's price per bottle for a case of the same product: $18.27. Then add in an industry-average 20 percent markup for the retailer to cover costs and make a profit -- this will vary by store -- and a 17 percent fee required under the initiative to recoup lost revenue to the state, a 20.5 percent retail sales tax and a $2.83 liter tax. Price per bottle: $33.74.  


 For 151-proof Bacardi Rum, also in a 750-ml bottle, the price increases from $26.95 per bottle to $34.73.


Some of the increase comes from a mandatory fee from Initiative 1183, which privatized liquor sales,  but many other fees are adding up to a big increase.


Some stores are making signs for their shelves explaining why prices will be so high.