Our friends over at the Seattle Beer News published a story yesterday that provides insight into the actual impact of this tax increase. We encourage you to go check it out.
On this blog and other, as well as all other media outlets, there has been a great deal of discussion about the new beer tax increase which just went live on June 1st. To be honest, it’s depressing and I’m a bit tired of talking about it, but it’s a slow news week and there’s still some news to be reported, so here it goes.
From all the comments I’ve read and talk I’ve heard, it seems that some people are convinced that Washington’s craft breweries and craft beer lovers will not be impacted at all. Some craft beer supporters rejoice in the fact that it will drive up the cost of “bad beer” and push more people to move into the craft beer market, as if price is the only reason a consumer would choose to drink Bug Light.
Other people see it as a slippery slope that gets us closer to larger, more sweeping beer taxes. People more deeply entrenched in the political arena see it as a dangerous precedence–such a significant tax measure so quickly enacted at the eleventh hour, leaving little opportunity for any kind of meaningful debate or opposition.
Liberal political activists see it as a purely regressive tax which only targets the people who can least afford it. Oddly enough, many conservative politicos agree with their liberal counterparts, though they call it “Yuppie Protectionism” because the tax does not affect the highfalutin craft beer drinking class. Isn’t that just a different way to say the same thing?
You know something is wrong when the left and the right agree on something.
Whatever the case, we all should understand what this beer tax increase really means. Especially if we’re going to get to vote on it. I’m getting ahead of myself.
And now here’s the news. The other day I heard a rumor from a friend in the beer industry that an initiative is in the works for the November ballot that would repeal this tax increase. Likely, it would repeal the entire tax measure–bottle water, soda pop, candy, beer and all. I’m hot on the trail and will let you know what I find out.
I don’t like the tax, but repealing it now and reigniting the budget crisis? What a mess.