Re: “Roll your own hurts retailers and state” (letter, 3-24).
I disagree with the writer’s claims that roll-your-own (RYO) stores are bad for the economy of the state and are costing the state tax revenue.
Prior to finding a local RYO store, I was importing my smokes from an online duty-free outlet in Europe. Washington got no money from these transactions.
I’m sure a lot of RYO customers will go back to online ordering if the Legislature shuts these stores down. Others will shop for smokes in Oregon, Idaho or Canada.
The writer, the executive director of the Washington State Association of Neighborhood Stores, also claims that RYO stores hurt large retailers cigarette sales. Boo hoo. Fred Meyer and Safeway do not suffer from these shops, but the people who now own, operate and employ staff at RYOs will be out of business and well more than 300 jobs statewide will be lost.
And suggesting that there are no taxes collected from RYO sales is just absurd. Please keep these businesses just as they are.