Benewah County saw a 7.3 percent increase in liquor sales, according to the 2018 fiscal reports issued by the Idaho State Liquor Division.

The county ended the fiscal year in June 2018 with a total of $1,369,437, a $93,158 increase over the previous years total sales.

St. Maries contributed to that number by ending the 2018 fiscal year with $893,558 in sales. This was a 5.9 percent growth over 2017’s sales which had totaled $843,242.

Plummer saw the most significant growth in liquor sales in 2018. The city’s liquor sales grew 13.2 percent from 2017’s $324,833 in sales to end the 2018 fiscal year at $367,777.

Fernwood saw a 0.09 percent decrease in sales from 2017 to 2018. Fernwood ended the 2018 fiscal year with $108,101 in sales.

Other counties and cities close to Benewah County also saw changes from 2017 to 2018 in liquor sales.

Harrison saw a drop in liquor sales in 2018. The city ended the year with $209,507 in sales which was a 1.8 percent decrease from the previous year which saw $213,409 in sales.

Kootenai County did end the year at $37,396,830 which was a 5.6 percent increase over 2017 sales. 5.6 percent

Shoshone County also saw a jump in sales from 2017 to 2018. The county ended 2018 with $1,970,117 in sales, a 6.1 percent increase over $1,856,750 in sales in 2017.

The Idaho Liquor Division is responsible for overseeing 168 retail stores throughout the state. 65 of those stores are state liquor stores that are staffed by division employees and the other 103 stores are operated under contract.

The liquor store located in St. Maries is listed as a state ran store according to the fiscal report. The report shows that Plummer’s liquor store is a contracted store.

Idaho law distributes the profit made from liquor sales to specific state programs, the general state fund, and 44 counties and 200 cities.

The programs that are funded are the drug, mental health, and family court services fund as well as community college and public school programs.

About $84,902 in profits was distributed to St. Maries public schools and other state run public services and programs. The city of Plummer also received $32,697 in profits to go towards public school and other programs. The city of Tensed received $4,800 in profits, though the city was not reported to make any liquor sales in 2018 and 2017.

Fernwood was also not reported to have any distributions of profits in the 2018 fiscal year.

The liquor division’s full report can be found online at: https://liquor.idaho.gov/pdf/annual-reports/annualreport2018.pdf.

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