The final word on the beer tax increase. Maybe.

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?

sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor
sponsor

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.



3 comments

  1. I-1086, repeal the strong beer tax:

    Assigned Number: 1086
    Filed: 04/13/2010
    Sponsors
    Mr. Tim Eyman
    Mr. Leo J. Fagan
    Mr. M.J. Fagan
    Public Contact Information:
    P.O. Box 18250
    Spokane, WA 99228
    Phone: 425-493-8707
    Fax: 425-493-1027
    [email protected]

    Ballot Title
    Statement of Subject: Initiative Measure No. 1086 concerns ending a temporary excise tax on beer and strong beer.

    Concise Description: This measure would end a temporary B&O tax, otherwise expiring in 2013, on manufacturing and selling beer and strong beer, except certain producers of less than sixty thousand barrels per year.

    Should this measure be enacted into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]

    Ballot Measure Summary
    This measure would end a temporary B&O tax, otherwise expiring on June 30, 2013, on manufacturing and selling beer and strong beer, in the amount of $15.50 per barrel of thirty-one gallons, except certain producers of less than sixty thousand barrels per year.

    *Revised by court order on 05-14-2010

    http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/initiatives/people.aspx?y=2010

    http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/initiatives/text/i1086.pdf

    Also I-1093, repeal beer tax:

    Assigned Number: 1093
    Filed: 04/19/2010
    Sponsors
    Mr. Tim Eyman
    Mr. Leo J. Fagan
    Mr. M.J. Fagan
    Public Contact Information:
    P.O. Box 18250
    Spokane, WA 99228
    Phone: 425-493-8707
    Fax: 425-493-1027
    [email protected]

    Ballot Title
    Statement of Subject: Initiative Measure No. 1093 concerns ending temporary taxes on selling certain carbonated beverages and beer.

    Concise Description: This measure would end temporary taxes, otherwise expiring in 2013, on the activities of selling certain carbonated beverages and of manufacturing and selling beer and strong beer, above minimum revenue or production levels.

    Should this measure be enacted into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]

    Ballot Measure Summary
    This measure would end certain temporary taxes, otherwise expiring June 30, 2013, including a tax on the activity of selling certain carbonated beverages, not including alcoholic beverages or carbonated water, at two cents per twelve ounces, exempting each bottler’s first $10,000,000 of gross sales; and a tax on manufacturing and selling of beer, in the amount of $15.50 per thirty-one gallon barrel, but with an exception for certain producers of less than 60,000 barrels annually.

    *Last day to challenge title and/or summary: 5-4-2010

    http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/initiatives/people.aspx?y=2010

    http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/initiatives/text/i1093.pdf

  2. We should have a state income tax, and get rid of all “use taxes” like the gas tax, beer tax, sales tax, cigarette tax, future SR-520 toll booths, etc. People should be taxed on how much they MAKE, not how much they SPEND, and especially not on HOW they spend it.
    Time for a beer.

Comments are closed.