Official: Maine bars selling NH liquor cost state millions of dollars

Posted April 03, 2012, at 9:28 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The head of Maine’s liquor bureau says bar and restaurant owners who buy large volumes of alcohol in New Hampshire to sell in Maine are costing the state as much as $11 million a year in revenue.

Gerry Reid of the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations said Monday the state loses an estimated 206,000 to 584,000 cases of liquor sales each year to New Hampshire, which sells alcohol at lower prices and without sales taxes.

Reid says although consumers are allowed to buy small quantities of liquor in New Hampshire for personal use, it’s illegal to buy multiple cases and bring them back into Maine.

Maine Today Media reported that Reid wants to renegotiate the state’s liquor distribution contract, lower prices and hire more enforcement officers.