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ABC Privatization Proposal Overestimates Revenue

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Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposal to privatize liquor sales in Virginia projected greater revenue than is realistic, according to an audit report.
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Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposal to privatize liquor sales in Virginia projected greater revenue than is realistic, according to an audit report.

A legislative review of Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposal to get Virginia out of the liquor business says profits from the sale have been overstated by tens of millions of dollars.

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission report says McDonnell's staff painted too rosy a picture when it released its estimates.The current proposal calls for the auction of 1,000 retail licenses and the sale of wholesale licenses and various state liquor assets.

McDonnell originally estimated ending the 76-year monopoly could generate nearly $500 million for transportation projects. The governor later revised that figure to read: "the state would get $47 million less then what it get now."

Virginia Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw told the Alexandria City Council the ABC privatization proposal would not even cover "the cost of an overpass in Tysons Corner."

Saslaw says McDonnell should drop the proposal.

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