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View Full Version : Washington State Privatizes Liquor Sales Consumers Get Screwed



Nicholas Carey
06-06-2012, 02:29 PM
As of June 1st, Washington State got out of the retail and wholesale liquor business. Unlike the state stores, retailers aren't listing prices with taxes included (unlike every other liquor store in any other state I've ever been in). On the shelf, it appears that liquor is significantly cheaper...until you get to the cash register.

Buying a bottle of liquor at the state store was pretty much like buying a shirt. You paid the posted price, plus the local "combined" sales tax (9.5% in Seattle).

Under the new regime, you start with the base (hors taxe) price. Then add on the Spirits Liter Tax (SLT) at $3.7708/liter. Then add on the 20.5% Spirits Sales Tax (SST). Then add on the sales tax as above.

The state liquor control board didn't do a good job of locking down their online price lists...a little googling found the last retail price list issued (for May 2012).

On 31 May, if I'd gone to the liquor store and bought a 750ml bottle of Jameson's Irish whiskey, I would have paid $29.95, plus 9.5% sales tax, for a total of about $30.05 or so.

Under the new regime?

Well...at our local Fred Meyer yesterday, that same bottle of Jameson's carried an hors taxe price of $34.95 (if you didn't have a Fred Meyer "rewards" card, or didn't care to have Fred Meyer keeping track of your liquor buying habits), or $24.95 (with the rewards card). Once you get to the register...

Without the rewards card, your final price, toute taxe comprise, comes in at about $48.33 ($34.95, plus $10.00 in the two spirits taxes, plus another $3.33 or so in retail sales tax). That's about a 60% increase in price.

With the rewards card? The final price, TTC, comes in at about $35.33 ($24.95, plus $7.95 in the two spirits taxes, plus $2.38 in retail sales tax). That's an increase of just under 18%.

I'm not sure if it's the distributors or the retailers who are gouging, but gouging it is. Nothing like the cost efficiencies of free enterprise capitalism.

FWIW, if anybody would like a copy of the May 2012 price list or the spreadsheet "cheat sheet" I worked up to let you figure out your actual cost ahead of time, let me know.

2MeterTroll
06-06-2012, 02:33 PM
Well the folks in the state thought it was a good idea and now will feel the pinch.

Oh and added; this was a tea party driven thing. I love the benefit that comes from the screaming no government interference folks.

Nicholas Carey
06-06-2012, 02:49 PM
The Republicans did this, right? |:(

No...Costco, Walmart, Sam's Club, et al. Spent a phenomal amount of money multiple times to get it through via ballot initiative.

Just as a comparison, in Ohio, a 750ml bottle of Jameson runs about $24–$25 retail (just checked at https://www.comapps.ohio.gov/liqr/liqr_apps/PermitLookup/AgencyBrand.aspx -- you can check prices across every private liquor store in the state).

In Michigan...Jameson has a minimum shelf price of $22.95, excluding 6% sales tax. The wholesale price on that is $19.15.

In California, Jameson's seems to retail for under $20, excl. sales tax. OTOH, California has a remarkably low excise on spirit ($3.30/gallon — about 1/4 of the Washington State's $3.77/liter excise).

RodSBT
06-06-2012, 03:02 PM
Nick, you should be proud to pay those taxes.
It's the progressive thing to do.

Nicholas Carey
06-06-2012, 03:07 PM
Nick, you should be proud to pay those taxes.
It's the progressive thing to do.

I don't have a problem with the excise. I've got a problem with retailers gouging consumers by masking the actual selling price until you get to the cash register.

bobbys
06-06-2012, 03:27 PM
How come our Stores here in Oregon on the border of Washington are filled with Washingtonians buying to escape their own sales tax.

I doubt they are all Tea Party folk ..

2MeterTroll
06-06-2012, 03:31 PM
nope up where we are however the teaparty was pushing for this privatisation like mad. spittle flying and all. next thing you can watch for is the small wineries to scream when the other things go into effect.
It's gonna be a fun time.


How come our Stores here in Oregon on the border of Washington are filled with Washingtonians buying to escape their own sales tax.

I doubt they are all Tea Party folk ..

katey
06-06-2012, 03:33 PM
Today's Seattle Times suggests that about 60% of prices have gone up, and 40% have gone down.

bobbys
06-06-2012, 03:42 PM
nope up where we are however the teaparty was pushing for this privatisation like mad. spittle flying and all. next thing you can watch for is the small wineries to scream when the other things go into effect.
It's gonna be a fun time..

No body ever mentioned wine sales at my Tea Party and John Birch society meetings, Guess it could be different other places, Who knew we had a Master plan?

wardd
06-06-2012, 04:22 PM
I long for the day when all goods are sold only in state owned stores so they we can be assured of low prices and high quality products while being served by attentive customer service driven state employees.

been to a big box store lately?

the_gr8t_waldo
06-06-2012, 04:23 PM
washington state democratic party was against initiative 1183.

RodSBT
06-06-2012, 04:51 PM
I long for the day when all goods are sold only in state owned stores so they we can be assured of low prices and high quality products while being served by attentive customer service driven state employees.

If only buying a head of lettuce was as easy as getting the title and registration on my new car.


Ah yes, the state run food delivery system.
Soviet style.
http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRRU_jAz8RJ5RkxlQ-MygsVt8stXmv_7pXchnYhGb5PTaZHs_zg

"If those capitalist pigs only knew how good we have it!"

johnw
06-06-2012, 05:11 PM
Costco didn't spend $22 million so consumers could save money, they spent it so they could make money.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politicsnorthwest/2016546409_costcosetsrecordforinitiativespendingwi th22million.html

Not that there's anything wrong with that, and I'm sure consumers will have a better selection, but to make sure the state didn't have a budget shortfall because of the initiative, they had to add to the tax.

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/washington-privatizes-liquor-sales-jacks-up-costs/
The bad news for customers is that on average, per-bottle prices on liquor could rise between 10 percent and 30 percent, retailers say. The initiative imposed a new fee structure that raises those costs by 27 percent, which will likely be passed on to consumers, said Brian Smith, spokesman for the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

But they didn't spend $22 million telling people they were increasing liquor taxes.

I don't drink enough hard alcohol for this to make a big dent in my budget, but it does seem like if people had realized it would be more expensive, the initiative might not have passed.

Bob Smalser
06-06-2012, 06:27 PM
What a crock. Learn how to shop.

Safeway, for one, is running loss leaders that are far, far cheaper than even the miltary Class IX stores. Fleishman's Gin and basic Dewars Scotch in 1.75 liter bottles for $12.99. They were twice that in the state stores, and still over 20 bucks at the Navy Bases.

Not to mention I no longer have to make a separate trip at inconvenient hours.

tigerregis
06-06-2012, 06:35 PM
Yeah bobbys, you claim to be in NW Oregon. The subject is Washington Liquor Stores. My advise is to move a lot further West and not a whit to the North. Probably somewhere in the New Caledonia area would be nice.

elf
06-06-2012, 06:45 PM
Sounds good to me. Alcohol should be taxed heavily so that fewer people drink.

2MeterTroll
06-06-2012, 06:46 PM
try several hundred miles difference. I thought you got the memo that we had relocated. We now live in tonasket Washington. long way from PDX and the Oregon coast.



.

No body ever mentioned wine sales at my Tea Party and John Birch society meetings, Guess it could be different other places, Who knew we had a Master plan?

Nicholas Carey
06-06-2012, 07:03 PM
You put together a spread sheet "cheat sheet" to calculate your retail liquor costs?

Would that be a significant portion of your budget?

Hardly. The 3 or 4 bottles in the liquor cabinet will likely last a good chunk of the summer. Much depends on how often people come over for a visit of a warm summer evening.

I wanted to be able to compare apples and oranges. A $20.00 bottle at the state store was...pretty much $20.00, less sales tax. $20 at the new liquor store, once you get to the cash register, is actually — still less sales tax — just a dime shy of $27.00.

Name another product sold this way. How would you like to fill up your pickup truck, only to discover that the posted $4.25/gallon price for gas was actually $4.81/gallon, because the merchant conveniently didn't bother to include in the posted price the 18.4 cents/gallon Federal excise tax or the 37.5 cents/gallon state excise tax.

Same thing.

Liquor prices have been jacked, the initiative proponents lied about it, promising lower prices and wider variety, and the merchants are using deceptive pricing tactics to mask that price increase.

Further, the selection, from what little I observed by informational visits to 3 stores, has, as I feared, been reduced to mostly just mass market stuff that moves quickly off the shelf.

Gerarddm
06-06-2012, 07:27 PM
Since I drink hard liquor like about 2x a year, I don't care.

But in the interests of truth in advertising, yeh it would be nice for them to post the actual walk-out-the-door price.

the_gr8t_waldo
06-06-2012, 07:41 PM
why would you expect advertized prices to reflect the total price? you don't see it in the local f.m.'s, home depo, costco., even auto dealerships! if it's because you think you're being taken advantage of by the state.well,you are!

bobbys
06-06-2012, 07:51 PM
Yeah bobbys, you claim to be in NW Oregon. The subject is Washington Liquor Stores. My advise is to move a lot further West and not a whit to the North. Probably somewhere in the New Caledonia area would be nice..

I apologize for not explain ing the Geography.

We live in the extreme North west Corner of Oregon, There is a Bridge across the Columbia river and connects to the lower tip of Washington.

Big box stores set up here specifically to get the Washington shoppers escaping sales tax..

Im not sure why you wish me to move to New Caladonia but send me some info and i will consider it!

Phillip Allen
06-06-2012, 07:51 PM
Sounds good to me. Alcohol should be taxed heavily so that fewer people drink.

that old dodge is debunked. the more cash the 'state' gets the higher their vested interest in continued sales...

bobbys
06-06-2012, 07:53 PM
try several hundred miles difference. I thought you got the memo that we had relocated. We now live in tonasket Washington. long way from PDX and the Oregon coast..

Sorry Ernie I did not know where you lived before nor do i know why that matters but if this is a rebuke i accept it.

C. Ross
06-06-2012, 07:58 PM
Sounds good to me. Alcohol should be taxed heavily so that fewer people drink.

I have a daughter headed for her freshman year at University of Washington in a few months. I am not concerned about her and alcohol, at all. It's nice that it will cost a little more. I'm kinda sorry it will be more accessible.

Lew Barrett
06-06-2012, 08:03 PM
What a crock. Learn how to shop.

Safeway, for one, is running loss leaders that are far, far cheaper than even the miltary Class IX stores. Fleishman's Gin and basic Dewars Scotch in 1.75 liter bottles for $12.99. They were twice that in the state stores, and still over 20 bucks at the Navy Bases.

Not to mention I no longer have to make a separate trip at inconvenient hours.

That's not the whole story though. Premium bottles are going to be more expensive now, and nobody is yet carrying the specialty products that people who drink for pleasure, rather than effect, like to consume. I'm not saying you drink for effect, but I am saying some products are the equivalent of loss leaders in the first place. The State ran sales just as every store does; some products were always more expensive here under their hegemony, others surprisingly less so. The cheap stuff they sold was a line called "Monarch." and the quality was equal to Fleischmann's. If I put Monarch gin in your tonic against Fleischmann's I would be surprised if you could tell the difference. Once mixed with tonic, it is hard indeed to tell the high end gins from the ordinaire. In short, the stuff you picked out is the definition of loss leader and may not reveal the new order to full effect.

I was personally opposed to the initiative but for different reasons, although I have to admit, I didn't expect prices to go up. It was always a question in my mind if the State (or any state) should be in the "substance" business but it was a profit center and the upshot has proven to be that in the main, the State was not gouging. The failure of the sponsors to do anything about substance abuse or even to mention it in their bill, was very telling. The upshot is that some of the funding sources DSHS had been relying on is slashed even further; Washington State may well pay in a number of ways because of that. We had an opportunity to address alcohol abuse funding right there and completely missed the boat. The benefit of the bill yet remains to be seen, except perhaps that it's easier to find a store selling cheap liquor cheap.

I expect and hope that there will be a response from citizens who will see the poor elements of what they voted in as something they too should have "shopped" a bit harder for.

Bob Smalser
06-06-2012, 09:05 PM
Letsee....

Here we have wordy gobbledygoop, elitist snobbery, hasty analysis, and a lame, big-government agenda all rolled into one.

OK. Let's disregard that one can now acquire a very large bottle of name-brand booze at well under half the price of just a few days ago....more than making up for the tax...

...it remains to be seen how competition between a gazillion vendors (as opposed to one vendor) will affect prices over time, but given the initiative of ony SIX days old, I'm willing to be patient. Because I'm certain privatization of alcohol sales will increase the number of jobs supported and local taxes paid by severalfold over the old state stores, which were limited in number, had stingy hours, and very few employees.

Lew Barrett
06-06-2012, 09:12 PM
Got anything to add about the shortfall for DSHS, or do you prefer to see the drunks fend for themselves?
In any case, prices will be up across the board for the premium spirits; was that intended too? I don't care. Like others here, my consumption is measured and I could care less about the cheapest hooch I can buy.

Sure, it's bound to change with time after the rush for profits gets thin, but the voters missed a trick, or got sold a good one.
Would you have missed 5 cents a bottle to fund addiction services? Would the distributors? That's the part the bill glossed over.
"Drink responsibly." That's the limit of their contribution.......

But if you miss the point, you can always retreat to shouting "elitist snob" to somebody with a post about a complex subject that is longer than two sentences.

Steve McMahon
06-06-2012, 09:13 PM
Sounds good to me. Alcohol should be taxed heavily so that fewer people drink.

Canada tried that. It doesn't work.

Lew Barrett
06-06-2012, 09:21 PM
It's what you do with the taxes collected on alcohol that might make a difference. It's always been heavily taxed, and probably always will be.

Bob Smalser
06-06-2012, 09:23 PM
Got anything to add about the shortfall for DSHS...

Rising tides lift all boats.

+ vendors = + jobs = + tax revenues = more money available

Lew Barrett
06-06-2012, 09:32 PM
Rising tides lift all boats.

+ vendors = + jobs = + tax revenues = more money available

It has to be allocated. There is no provision for that in the bill just passed. Letters from addiction specialists asking for consideration of this were roundly ignored. My objection was not to privatizing sales but to doing so without getting something back in return. Your best chance to help your neighbors with a problem flew out the window when the franchises were handed over without consideration...or discussion..... of that.

Bob Smalser
06-06-2012, 09:44 PM
It has to be allocated. .

Do I need to tell you that you already elected somebody to do that? Communicate with them.

The money will be there, soon enough. Between all the major groceries, Fred Meyer, Costco, and whoever won the auctions of the old state stores, the sheer volume of liquor around here has increased by 20-fold. Subtracting economy of scale, that's at least 10-fold the manhours required to ship it, stock it, market it, and sell it. A helluva lot of additional jobs over the arcane, prohibition-relic state licquor stores.

It's past time to join the 21st Century.

Lew Barrett
06-06-2012, 09:53 PM
We do not see eye to eye on this. DSHS is gutted now. The opportunity to provide funding through the growth of the industry was lost when the bill was passed. How much support do you suppose the industry will give the concept now that they have what they want? The citizens of Washington missed the opportunity.

I already wrote my letter, by the way, while I was serving pro bono on the board of the Alcohol Drug Helpline; a state agency that now no longer exists, along with many others. Yeesh.

Bob Smalser
06-06-2012, 10:08 PM
1) We do not see eye to eye on this. DSHS is gutted now.

2) The opportunity to provide funding through the growth of the industry was lost when the bill was passed.



1) Talk to your legistator. That's what you hired them to do.

2) Nonsense. Automatic funding perhaps, but not an appropriation. If there's a real need, there shouldn't be trouble getting an appropriation. Otherwise, it's stupid to trade a hundred bucks worth of income for 25 bucks work of income with another 5 bucks earmarked for a pet project tacked on.

Yeesh. Such handwringing over being drug kicking and screaming out of antiquity into how the vast majority of states do their liquor business. Next I spose we'll be asked to bring back "dry" counties for areas with the largest alcohol problems.

LeeG
06-06-2012, 10:15 PM
Will this affect the price of marijuana?

Nicholas Carey
06-06-2012, 10:34 PM
that old dodge is debunked. the more cash the 'state' gets the higher their vested interest in continued sales...

That is actually a real issue in France.

The French state has a monopoly on the distribution and manufacturing (!) of cigarettes. It also has high excise taxes on them. Conversely, France has a single payer health insurance system. From this Atlantic Monthly article (admittedly dated, since it was published back in 1992) France: An Ambivalent War Against Smoking (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1992/06/france-an-ambivalent-war-against-smoking/4763/):


France, renowned among Americans as a bastion of Cartesian logic, is currently questioning itself over its curious, even paradoxical, posture regarding smoking. The United States has turned sharply against smoking, and readily accepts no-smoking zones in restaurants, offices, and public places. But in France things are different, because the French government owns the nation's cigarette-manufacturing monopoly. It reaps substantial tax revenues from cigarettes, and clings to its role as tobacco merchant. At the same time, the government pays the heavy health and social costs that derive from smoking. Each sale of a pack of Gauloises brings the state five francs in taxes and is estimated to cost the state around nine francs.

The contradiction became subject to increasingly intent scrutiny after publication of a proposed law to limit tobacco use, presented by twenty-seven members of the National Assembly, which said, "The state is pursuing a shortsighted policy, and cannot reconcile the tax revenue from tobacco with the health and social cost."

France's cigarette manufacturer and distributor, called SEITA (for Societe d'Exploitation Industrielle des Tabacs et Allumettes), has the sole right to manufacture cigarettes within the country, and controls the distribution of almost all imported cigarettes. It belongs wholly to the government. SEITA generated 31 billion francs ($5.48 billion) in 1990 tax revenues--some 2.3 percent of the national budget--plus an operating profit of $66.7 million.

The annual cost to the country for health care related to smoking is estimated at $8.8 billion, plus some $2.6 billion in lost production, for a total social cost per year of $11.4 billion.

Each year some 61,000 French men and women--almost the equivalent of the entire population of Cannes--die of ailments related to smoking. An authority on smoking in France, Professor Jean Marsac, the head of the pneumology department at Paris's Cochin Hospital, calls cigarettes "the most deadly addiction epidemic of the twentieth century." Cigarette consumption doubled in France in the thirty-five years from 1950 to 1985, and although it has stopped increasing and has even declined slightly in recent years, heavy smokers are much more numerous today than they have been in the past: 23.5 percent of male smokers consumed more than a pack a day last year, as compared with 16 percent in 1977. Overall, 38 percent of people in France smoke, as compared with 29 percent in the United States, and smoke lies heavy almost everywhere in the land.



It's a real problem here in the States, too, but the cognitive dissonance is somewhat more subtle than it is in a place like France.

Nicholas Carey
06-06-2012, 10:51 PM
Sounds good to me. Alcohol should be taxed heavily so that fewer people drink.


Canada tried that. It doesn't work.

Back in the 80s, IIRC, Ontario's Minister of Liquor Control, was an on-the-wagon alcoholic. He jacked up the excise on alcohol hugely. Huge uproar as I remember. Lots of brew parlours opened up, where one could go in and for a fee, brew a batch of beer or wine for one's private consumption, leaving it at the brew parlour for primary and secondary fermentation, then come back and bottle it. People started brewing the own beer and wine rather than paying the exciseman by buying from Brewer's Retail or the LCBO. Wouldn't surprise me if a certain amount of moonshining started up as well, craft or otherwise.

OTOH...Ontario tried the same thing with the tobacco excise and people actually started to stop smoking. I'd like to think that alcohol is culturally more important than is tobacco, but it might have had something to do with Ontario having a poor climate for tobacco growing combined with a lack of knowledge of how to produce properly cured leaf.

johnw
06-06-2012, 11:42 PM
Didn't some American tobacco companies get in trouble over smuggling cigarettes into Canada?

PAlien
06-07-2012, 12:26 AM
Around here the reservation store always had the best selection, price, and hours. I haven't bought any liquor since the change, so don't know if they raised their prices to match the new retailers. Interesting discussion though, I was (and still am) wondering how this will all play out. I am guessing it's going to get harder to find Plymouth.

Yeadon
06-07-2012, 12:48 AM
It used to be that the state had a search function on their website where I could see who had what type of booze. It was great. For instance, the store on 15th in Ballard usually had a better scotch selection than the store on Broadway, and I figured out that via the search function. So I'd shop in Ballard.

I've been into a few grocery stores this week and haven't yet seen what I'm looking for. If bobbys lived around here, I'd give him a couple bucks to find me what I need and bring it back. Seems like he's got some time on his hands.

pcford
06-07-2012, 01:04 AM
If bobbys lived around here, I'd give him a couple bucks to find me what I need and bring it back. Seems like he's got some time on his hands.

Perhaps best not to tempt Bob.

johnw
06-07-2012, 01:25 AM
It used to be that the state had a search function on their website where I could see who had what type of booze. It was great. For instance, the store on 15th in Ballard usually had a better scotch selection than the store on Broadway, and I figured out that via the search function. So I'd shop in Ballard.

I've been into a few grocery stores this week and haven't yet seen what I'm looking for. If bobbys lived around here, I'd give him a couple bucks to find me what I need and bring it back. Seems like he's got some time on his hands.

Where will I get Akvavit? There's got to be somewhere in Ballard...

Michael Beckman
06-07-2012, 01:45 AM
Roadtrip to California?

Yeadon
06-07-2012, 01:54 AM
Where will I get Akvavit? There's got to be somewhere in Ballard...

That's exactly my point! Maybe you can go to their website, then find where it's sold? I'm looking for a bottle of Black & White whisky. It's not exactly the finest, but I like it all the same.

http://imgc.allpostersimages.com/images/P-488-488-90/60/6015/NCHB100Z/posters/black-and-white-scotch-whisky.jpg

Michael Beckman
06-07-2012, 02:16 AM
I'm hoping Central Market starts selling. Their selection of everything else is incredible.

Ron Williamson
06-07-2012, 05:26 AM
Back in the 80s, IIRC, Ontario's Minister of Liquor Control, was an on-the-wagon alcoholic. He jacked up the excise on alcohol hugely. Huge uproar as I remember. Lots of brew parlours opened up, where one could go in and for a fee, brew a batch of beer or wine for one's private consumption, leaving it at the brew parlour for primary and secondary fermentation, then come back and bottle it. People started brewing the own beer and wine rather than paying the exciseman by buying from Brewer's Retail or the LCBO. Wouldn't surprise me if a certain amount of moonshining started up as well, craft or otherwise.

OTOH...Ontario tried the same thing with the tobacco excise and people actually started to stop smoking. I'd like to think that alcohol is culturally more important than is tobacco, but it might have had something to do with Ontario having a poor climate for tobacco growing combined with a lack of knowledge of how to produce properly cured leaf.
There are still plenty of brew-your-own places,but most people find it easier to bring it across the border.
Same for smokes,except now they buy them from the local rez.
IIRC big tobacco in Canada was convicted of some weird thing involving exporting cigarettes to customers with the knowledge that they were bootlegging them back to Canada.
It wasn't very long ago that there were plenty of tobacco growers in Ontario and the last ones around here closed up shop in the early nineties.
R

2MeterTroll
06-07-2012, 11:19 AM
no rebuke I still owe you a beer. I was just saying that we moved and up where we are the teaparty folks where really hot on this law. I read the law and its a killer for small wineries and brewers.
its one of those laws that got pushed through with massive support by business and teaparty. now the fallout is being felt. It really doesn't bother me much I brew my own.



.

Sorry Ernie I did not know where you lived before nor do i know why that matters but if this is a rebuke i accept it.

ron ll
06-07-2012, 11:26 AM
I too have been more than a little miffed by what I've seen so far. But I think some time will help sort some of these things out. Just this morning I heard a radio ad for Metropolitan Markets claiming that they are stocking many of the hard to find and small local distillery brands. And one state senator has started to rattle about forcing retailers to post the after tax prices on the shelf.

bobbys
06-07-2012, 11:33 AM
It used to be that the state had a search function on their website where I could see who had what type of booze. It was great. For instance, the store on 15th in Ballard usually had a better scotch selection than the store on Broadway, and I figured out that via the search function. So I'd shop in Ballard.

I've been into a few grocery stores this week and haven't yet seen what I'm looking for. If bobbys lived around here, I'd give him a couple bucks to find me what I need and bring it back. Seems like he's got some time on his hands..

Time is of no matter, If Tim sahib desires the English Gin ,I your humble servant should travel many Thunder road trails and return with Spirits in a Mason jar.

As Gunga Din Gave water in the midst of battle I Too shall pour the nectar of the Gods into thy Masters cup..

I await your Orders Sahib.

2MeterTroll
06-07-2012, 11:34 AM
yes please post the after tax prices on the shelf!!! I hate it when these folks say one thing on the shelf and you get to the register its another.


I too have been more than a little miffed by what I've seen so far. But I think some time will help sort some of these things out. Just this morning I heard a radio ad for Metropolitan Markets claiming that they are stocking many of the hard to find and small local distillery brands. And one state senator has started to rattle about forcing retailers to post the after tax prices on the shelf.

bobbys
06-07-2012, 11:42 AM
no rebuke I still owe you a beer. I was just saying that we moved and up where we are the teaparty folks where really hot on this law. I read the law and its a killer for small wineries and brewers.
its one of those laws that got pushed through with massive support by business and teaparty. now the fallout is being felt. It really doesn't bother me much I brew my own....

This is all i found Im not sure what the Tea Party has to do with this.

Costco will make enemies as it goes after liquor sales Neo-prohibitionists, entrenched government workers, and probably tea-partiers will fight the giant wholesaler as its employees collect initiative signatures.
http://s9.addthis.com/button1-addthis.gif (http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php) http://crosscut.com/static/images/prints.gif Print (http://crosscut.com/2010/05/27/business/19845/Costco-will-make-enemies-as-goes-after-liquor-sale/print/) http://crosscut.com/static/images/mail.gif Email (?SUBJECT=A%20Crosscut%20article&BODY=Costco%20will%20make%20enemies%20as%20it%20go es%20after%20liquor%20sales:%20http://crosscut.com/2010/05/27/business/19845/Costco-will-make-enemies-as-goes-after-liquor-sale/)
http://crosscut.com/media/resized_image/story_image/Costco_fit_300x300.jpg

Related Stories Crying foul over state liquor store's deal with Edgar Martinez (http://crosscut.com/2010/06/23/washington-agencies/19919/Crying-foul-over-state-liquor-stores-deal-with-Edg/) Wed, Jun 23, 2 a.m.
The state-run store is promoting Edgar's brand of mezcal, raising new questions about the Liquor Board's involvement in sales and marketing. State liquor monopoly: Breaking up is hard to do (http://crosscut.com/2010/01/12/washington-agencies/19504/State-liquor-monopoly-Breaking-up-is-hard-do/) Tue, Jan 12, 2 a.m.
Government monopolists at work: They don't even bother to give their website a smart url. Gov. Gregoire, who used to support dumping the liquor board, is having second thoughts.



By Ronald Holden (http://crosscut.com/account/Cornichon/) Costco, headquartered in Issaquah, offers tremendous discounts on clothing, electronics, and food (it's the third-largest grocery chain in the country, behind Wal-Mart and Kroger), so it's frustrating to Costco managers that they can't provide similar discounts on sales of wine and beer, let alone hard liquor, to customers in their home state.
The trouble is the firmly entrenched, mutually supportive, state-run liquor establishment, starting with the Washington State Liquor Control Board itself, its employees, the landlords of its 300-plus stores, and the entire cumbersome apparatus of wholesalers and distributors who feed on its arcane and byzantine structure.
The liquor board (http://www.liq.wa.gov/), all parties agree, is a relic of Prohibition, part of the "local control" concept that allowed states of all persuasions to vote for Repeal. On the one hand, its mandate is to control the sale of alcohol by restricting distribution, establishing uniform prices, and limiting the number of outlets. On the other hand, it's both an employer (all those liquor store workers) and a tax collector.
Costco tried three years ago to challenge the current system in the courts but lost. Bills surface periodically to dump the state system; one such proposal (http://crosscut.com/2010/01/12/washington-agencies/19504/State-liquor-monopoly:-Breaking-up-is-hard-to-do/) didn't make it out of committee in the recent legislative session. So now there's a new proposal, Initiative 1100, that would put the question of the state's involvement in liquor sales on the November ballot.

Will the tea-partiers support the initiative? They should, if they're in favor of more efficient government, of less government interference in our daily lives. They won't, however, if opponents frame the debate as a public safety issue (more problems for law enforcement due to increased consumption of alcohol). The state's own analysis (http://www.sao.wa.gov/AuditReports/AuditReportFiles/ar1002726.pdf) comes down on the side of privatizing the Liquor Board, even if the results are revenue-neutral, on the basis that the Liquor Board's operation isn't a core function of government.
The neo-prohibitionists will scream; that's their job. Look for testimony from the UW's Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute (http://depts.washington.edu/adai/), and especially from Dr. Ann Streissguth, author of numerous studies on fetal alcohol syndrome, bewailing the dangers of access to booze. (Streissguth's initiative is responsible for the warning signs that pregnant women shouldn't drink.)
For Costco to succeed, it needs to look at California (hard liquor sales in mom & pop grocery stores mean increased revenues for small businesses) as well as Vermont (no liquor taxes at all, without increases in per-capita consumption).
All this assumes that I-1100 (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2010/05/25/2011951336.pdf) supporters will round up enough signatures, and that two competing initiatives won't. Costco will supply the manpower: Employees in 26 stores around the state will collect signatures, hoping to come up with 240,000 names by July 2. Then the real debate can begin.

ron ll
06-07-2012, 11:46 AM
yes please post the after tax prices on the shelf!!! I hate it when these folks say one thing on the shelf and you get to the register its another.

On one of the first days last week, I happened into a QFC where there were big labels on the shelves with prices like, $12.99, $15.99, $19.99 for well known brands. People were grabbing them right and left and stuffing them into their baskets. QFC had two employees standing there just to explain to people that it was going to cost them considerably more at checkout.

John Smith
06-07-2012, 11:57 AM
No...Costco, Walmart, Sam's Club, et al. Spent a phenomal amount of money multiple times to get it through via ballot initiative.

Just as a comparison, in Ohio, a 750ml bottle of Jameson runs about $24$25 retail (just checked at https://www.comapps.ohio.gov/liqr/liqr_apps/PermitLookup/AgencyBrand.aspx -- you can check prices across every private liquor store in the state).

In Michigan...Jameson has a minimum shelf price of $22.95, excluding 6% sales tax. The wholesale price on that is $19.15.

In California, Jameson's seems to retail for under $20, excl. sales tax. OTOH, California has a remarkably low excise on spirit ($3.30/gallon about 1/4 of the Washington State's $3.77/liter excise).

People voted against their own interest; again. Nothing new here.

Y Bar Ranch
06-07-2012, 11:58 AM
Well...at our local Fred Meyer yesterday, that same bottle of Jameson's carried an hors taxe price of $34.95
What's up with the french whore tax? Some people just want to drink quietly at home.

Lew Barrett
06-07-2012, 12:24 PM
People voted against their own interest; again. Nothing new here.

I think that's true in this case, and for different reasons than almost everyone else s referencing here, but it pays to note that Washington has no state income tax. The money has to come from somewhere. This is one of those "somewheres" so taxes on many items are elevated compared to what they might be elsewhere. Comparing our tax structure to California's (or Oregon's) can be difficult at points along the way as a result.

Bob Adams
06-07-2012, 01:59 PM
Sounds good to me. Alcohol should be taxed heavily so that fewer people drink.

Yeah but then it will cost too much for ugly people to get laid.....

2MeterTroll
06-07-2012, 02:00 PM
I do drink my Rum Elf and i dont really want to pay more for good rum than i do now. soon i will have to distil my own.

bobbys
06-07-2012, 02:23 PM
I do not always drink wine but when i do i drink Manischewitz.

bobbys
06-08-2012, 01:25 PM
This reminds me I need to stop by Our State run Liquor store and purchase My Gin ration.

http://blur-marketing.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/Victory-Gin.jpg

johnw
06-08-2012, 01:55 PM
Yeah but then it will cost too much for ugly people to get laid.....

My God, could this be some sort of stealth esthetic eugenics law?