- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 9, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine says it’s raising prices on low-end liquor to increase state revenue from rising alcohol sales.

Maine’s liquor and lottery commission voted 3-2 Tuesday to raise the price of hundreds of liquor products. The price of 50-milliliter alcohol bottles will jump from 99 cents to $1.49 on Oct. 1.

Commissioners last month rejected Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to prohibit sales of the bottles after lawmakers added a bottle deposit to them.

July liquor sales were more than $1 million above July 2016.

In 2013, Maine sold a $220 million liquor revenue bond with $183 million earmarked to repay MaineCare debt to hospitals.

Liquor agency director Gregory Mineo tells the Sun Journal that value brands make up half overall sales but don’t bring in enough to pay back those bonds.

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