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Bemidji municipal liquor stores rank 4th in Minnesota for net profit

Forum News Service BEMIDJI -- The city of Bemidji's two off-sale liquor stores lead most of the state in net profits and racked up more than $5.3 million in gross sales revenue during 2013, according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Audi...

Forum News Service

BEMIDJI -- The city of Bemidji's two off-sale liquor stores lead most of the state in net profits and racked up more than $5.3 million in gross sales revenue during 2013, according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Auditor's office.

However, with expenses factored in, the $5.3 million figure translated to about $1.54 million in gross profit and $831,434 in net profit.

The statistics were part of an annual report compiled by the state of financial data from all of Minnesota's 237 liquor stores that were operational in 2013. To see the report, visit www.auditor.state.mn.us .

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The Bemidji liquor stores ranked fourth in the state for net profit out of all municipal liquor retailers. Only the tiny towns of Wilmont (population 340), Ogema (190) and the small city of Grand Marais (1,359) came out ahead of Bemidji.

Bemidji's success comes amid data that show a marginally rougher year for liquor stores' net profits statewide. Overall, net profits for municipal liquor stores went down slightly, $500,522 (about 1.8 percent), from 2012. Additionally, 33 cities reported a net loss for 2013, compared to 25 cities in 2012.

However, a bright spot in the data showed Minnesota cities broke their record for liquor sales revenue overall for the 18th straight year.

Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht  has said the liquor store profits are used to reduce property taxes, pay for park and trail capital improvements and subsidize street improvement projects.

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