Legislature must fix liquor system issues

LaceyApril 25, 2014 

Let’s look at the effects of Initiative 1183. Prices of liquor are up, not just up, but significantly up. Somewhere between 20-25 percent. Private citizens who purchased state stores, in good faith, have had a rough time paying the 17 percent fee levied by this initiative. A significant number of these owners have gone belly up because of that fee.

Private store owners can no longer sell to bars and restaurants. Another cause leading to failure.

Initiative 1183 alters the fee and tax structure previously extant. A 20.5 percent tax is added along with a $3.77 per liter charge. Washington is probably the state with the highest liquore prices in the country. Is it any wonder Eastern Washington residents are going to Idaho for their booze?

Fortunately, the state Senate tried to alleviate the revenue problems facing these dismayed private store owners by passing SB 6237. That bill would have changed the 17 percent fee structure to one based on sales volumes. Unfortunately the bill stalled in the Finance Committee and didn’t get out. Shame on them.

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