Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Your Boozin' Could Support New Ohio Businesses

Posted By on Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Ma, it was fo jobs!
  • "Ma, it was fo jobs!"

Ohio lykes itz likcore and beer. Itz a state nown fer tippin’ back a few, maybe mor than a fyew, maybe in the middel of the da, on tha regulr.

But that liquor consumption may soon lead to something more than liver disease and ugly spouses. Under a new proposal from the governor’s office, the state’s guzzled gallons — which last year set a record at 10.8 million down the hatch — may power badly needed economic growth.

Governor John Kasich would like to privatize the state’s liquor business — or at least, kind of, according to the Plain Dealer. Kasich would lease the state’s booze distribution to JobsOhio, the private venture capital outfit he’s cooked up to fund future businesses in the state for a return cut of future profits. The profits from the distribution would go toward JobOhio’s start-up funding. So a portion of that sizable chunk of your paycheck you incinerate every week on the barstool could end up partially funding a new business. Doesn’t that make the next drink seem all the more acceptable?

The lease would be in the 20-25 year range and probably won’t get inked until early 2012. A fair market price hasn’t been worked out yet. Right now, JobsOhio will issue $1.2 billion in revenue bonds backed by future liquor money, which could work out to something like $6 billion over the length of the lease. $700 million of that chunk of change will help with JobsOhio’s distribution operation; the additional $500 million will help plug the state’s bleeding budget.

Other states do this, but often the model has the government leasing out the distribution to the highest-bidding business. Under this plan, tapping a privately run state agency let’s the state control how those funds are used.

So again, pour out another one. You know you were going to already, this time you just don’t have to feel bad about it. “Why, officer? Because the state of Ohyo needd me to have that whsky. Jobz, man, its abot the jowbz.”

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