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State to auction off 50 expired liquor licenses

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With three auctions under its belt, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board today announced a fourth auction of expired restaurant liquor licenses.

The PLCB has been auctioning off old licenses under last year's Act 39 liquor reform law. Fifty licenses are up for grabs in the current auction, with bids due Nov. 9.

The licenses will be awarded in 40 counties, including in Central Pennsylvania. There are two licenses available in Dauphin County and one each in Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.

In the previous three auctions, the PLCB has awarded 124 licenses, including 17 in the midstate.

Giant Food Stores LLC has paid the most for a license in the auctions so far. The grocery-store chain bid $556,000 in the first auction for a license in its home county of Cumberland.

Prices have leveled off since then. The high bid in the second auction was $463,802 for a license in Montgomery County, while the third auction finished with a top bid of $347,127, also for a license in Montgomery County.

The average bid in the first auction was $212,000. The average dipped to $119,315 in the second auction but bounced back to $133,137 in the last auction.

Bids for the current auction will be opened Thursday, Nov. 16 and winners will be determined soon thereafter. The minimum bid for each license is $25,000.

The highest bidder wins the right to submit an application for the license to the PLCB within six months of auction award.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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