Sam Seaborn: You ever tried to overthrow the government?
Charlie Young: N-No sir.
Sam Seaborn: What the hell’s been stopping you?
I’m going to get political for a minute, there is a new proposed expansion to raise taxes on Washington craft beer.
As a newly minted craft brewery in Washington we have many hurdles to face. Increasing supply, energy, and labor costs. These go up and up every year, usually outpacing inflation. We pay taxes on quite a many number of things…
- Manufacturing Tax
- Wholesale Tax
- Federal Excise Tax
- Litter Tax
- Retailer Tax
- State Excise Tax
- County Sales Tax
- State Sales Tax
- City Sales Tax
For just having the license to produce Beer we currently pay per 31 gallons is $7 in Federal Excise tax and $4.23 State Excise tax. We have the 7th highest tax rate in the country for beer (source). Now I am all for paying my fair share of taxes, and we do that in spades, but the Washington State Legislators are proposing a 300 to 500% increase in State Excise tax, but only on beer produced in the State.
By doing this you give a even larger advantage to the California, Oregon, and Colorado breweries that already outsell Washington beer in it’s own state. This will give them an even larger competitive advantage when they already pay much lower tax rates than Washington breweries.
What do I think a proportional response is? Tax every beer at the point of sale, not just Washington beer. Make it a sin tax and move the hell on and stop pussy footing around the issue.
I want more money for education, but increasing the taxes on just Washington beer is not going to do it. In fact I was part of a team that was able to secure a $20,000 grant for Edmonds School District when I was still a student and Jay Inslee was part of that.
Want an even better solution than taxing all beer? Get I-502 off and running, we’ll see how little deficit is left once you start taxing an industry that is a potential $10-$40 billion industry. Craft beer looks like pennies at this point.
Help us out! Call your local rep and tell them you are not in favor of raising taxes on Washington beer.