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State to allocate $95M in bonds for construction of new liquor storage facility

Mississippi lawmakers have approved millions to construct a new facility to store liquor transported statewide.

Republican Governor Tate Reeves’ signature on House Bill 1354 allows state bonds to be used to build a new center to hold alcoholic beverages until they are purchased by retailers. According to the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, Mississippi is one of 17 states that controls the sale of distilled spirits and, in some cases wine and beer, through government agencies at the wholesale level.

This means that liquor beverages containing more than five percent of alcohol by weight sold at various licensed package stores in Mississippi must be facilitated through a warehouse owned by the state. The current facility resides in Gluckstadt, located just under 10 miles away from the capital city of Jackson.

The state-owned warehouse has been the subject of criticism from business owners who sell liquor as well as lawmakers due to allegations that it is outdated and in dire need of upgrades. Back in 2022, Republican Senator Scott DeLano claimed that the facility experiences consistent backlogs in distribution as it is responsible for sending out millions of cases of liquor and wine each year.

“I get phone more phone calls from restaurants and from casinos down on the coast that express those problems or those concerns, as well as friends and family, that can’t find very basic wine and spirits,” DeLano said on MidDays with Gerard Gibert. “Liquor stores aren’t able to get it [promptly] and we need to help them out.”

To remedy this issue, the state is offering up to $95 million in bonds to cover costs associated with constructing a brand-new facility. The Department of Finance and Administration is tasked with selecting a suitable site for the liquor storage warehouse. That spot must be within 50 miles of the state capitol building.

In order to pay for the bonds, a $1.50 bailment fee, up 50 cents from the $1 fee instituted in 2022, will be tacked on each case of liquor housed at the warehouse. This means private funds used to acquire spirits for commercial use in

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