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LIQUOR: Higher tax shows that greed rules

Letter by Michael G. Qunell, Tacoma on May 31, 2012 at 12:23 pm with 60 Comments »
June 1, 2012 2:00 pm

After reading the Fred Meyer ad (TNT, 5-31) concerning the prices it will charge for liquor, I am astounded at the greed the state is showing. After all the money used to fight the changeover to private liquor sales, the state stands to make a huge windfall from future sales.

I can just see the politicians greedily rubbing their hands together at the prospect of huge increases in tax revenue. Instead of receiving revenue from the 170 or so state liquor stores, they will now be getting revenue from more than 2,000 retailers.

All they have done is make sure that those who go to California or Nevada and purchase their liquor will now be joined by legions more consumers. The ridiculous taxation we face now is far beyond what caused our ancestors to revolt against the British.

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  1. Did you pay attention when you voted or did your greed get in the way?

  2. It’s funny how ignorant voters are blaming the State, who didn’t create the Initiative.

  3. We voted for those taxes. Fred Meyers is simply pointing that out in the ad. It isnt their tax on the product; it’s our own. The tax sucks, and I voted for 1100 and against 1183. Many of y’all did’t pay attention to what you were doing when you voted. Don’t go around complaining now that our wishes have been granted.

  4. This is as funny as the people who blame taxes for the high price of gas.

  5. alindasue says:

    krummm said, “This is as funny as the people who blame taxes for the high price of gas.”

    This is even more pathetic. The gas taxes, at least, weren’t all spelled out in writing in an initiative the people had just voted for like the liquor taxes and fees were.

    I voted for the initiative, but I did it knowing full well what it said when I did. I wasn’t expecting lower prices. I don’t buy alcohol anyhow.

    I was more interested in getting the foxes out of the hen house. When the state liquor regulating body is also the sole proprietor, there is a serious conflict of interest.

  6. Why didn’t the lobby who opposed the privatization of booze in Washington State point that out clearly to the voters prior to the election ? If they had done even a halfway decent job explaining the impact, a much different result may have happened.

    But since most Washingtonians who vote are dummies,(a fact), what do we expect. This State voted for Obama, Murray and Gregoire.

    You get what you voted for unless you foresee the consequences. Anyone here in Pierce County remember rank choice voting and what resulted ?

  7. GHTaxPayer says:

    Democrats are in power. OF COURSE they passed a law that brings more tax revenue. Stupid is as stupid does.
    And yet the Washington Democratic party CONTINUES to underfund our schools even after a State Supreme Court ruling compelling them to increase funding.

  8. alindasue says:

    IQof88 said, “You get what you voted for unless you foresee the consequences”

    You get what you vote for even when you do foresee the consequences. “The state” didn’t vote for President Obama, Patty Murray, or Christine Gregoire any more than it voted for I-1183. The people of the state voted. Apparently, the majority of the people didn’t vote in a way you agree with. You have different ideas and that’s fine.

    However, the only “dummies” are those who choose not to learn about issues prior to voting on them – regardless of how they choose to vote.

  9. “But since most Washingtonians who vote are dummies,(a fact), what do we expect. This State voted for Obama, Murray and Gregoire.”

    The voting FOR this initiative was notoriously conservative.

    “GHTaxPayer says:
    May 31, 2012 at 1:50 pm Democrats are in power. OF COURSE they passed a law that brings more tax revenue. Stupid is as stupid does.”

    Costco provided the initiative and the conservatives of this state pushed it through under the guises of “cheap booze”.

  10. alindasue

    WTH? I voted for the initiative. I knew it was going to raise prices, but if you do the math the increase is not 100% because of the new licensing fees. A good part of it is also the retail markup.

  11. itwasntmethistime says:

    IQ — The campaign against the privatization of liquor DID continuously point out that liquor was not going to be cheaper if the initiative passed. They were simply overshadowed by the $22 million Costco spent to lead voters to believe otherwise.

  12. GHTaxPayer says:

    I voted against the initiative because I knew that Dem campaign lawyers had been invloved in crafting the initiative for Costco.

    Taxes going up?? Surprise, surprise.
    Tolls on bridges are never-ending?? Surprise, surprise.
    Schools are underfunded?? Surprise, surprise.
    Democrats in charge?? Surprise, surprise.

  13. Perfect! Raise the taxes even higher, could curtail the DUIs!

  14. GH — Democrats had nothing to do with us passing the bill. As many other people have noted, it was corporations dumping big money on a little initiative. Thus, a bunch of misled and uneducated people vote against their own economic interests. It’s simply c corporate investment, this is commonplace…

  15. BigSwingingRichard says:

    I find it interesting the retailers are advertising the price of liquor before tax and separately showing the taxes on the product price tag.

    The retailers are trying to educate the public on the amount our State still taxes liquor, even though the State is out of the liquor business. The State should not need as much in taxes since they no longer operate a retail and distribution business.

    Is the next step an initiative to lower liquor taxes, as tree_guy has suggested?

  16. menopaws says:

    GHTaxpayer—didn’t your parents ever teach you that no one listens to a whiner………????? My 3 year old grandson does a better job at controlling his whines than you do……..Believe it or not—Republicans are becoming famous for not their ideas—but, the childish whine. I guess we know who you vote with don’t we???Reality does bite–the State will regret this when sales fall and people buy their booze elsewhere………Plus, once voters see the bite—their Reps. will hear the roar….But, let’s be very clear–the Liquor system has been in place for a very long time—and bureaucrats from both parties had a HUGE vested interest in punishing voters for making this choice………..Save your finger pointing for the playground…….both parties are culpable–and eager to spend that extra revenue.

  17. Do you conservatives know that we don’t have a state income tax?
    How else is the state to fund the services that we need?
    You would have to be 7 kinds of stupid to think we can run a state and not collect taxes, either that or just be a conservative.

  18. “Why didn’t the lobby who opposed the privatization of booze in Washington State point that out clearly to the voters prior to the election ? If they had done even a halfway decent job explaining the impact, a much different result may have happened.”

    Why didn’t YOU educate yourself on what YOU voted for??
    Oh Yeah, your a rightist….never mind.

  19. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Mature discourse coming from the usual leftists.

  20. alindasue says:

    krummm said, “I knew it was going to raise prices, but if you do the math the increase is not 100% because of the new licensing fees. A good part of it is also the retail markup.”

    Of course it is. A good part of the price at the state liquor stores was also retail markup. Why would the stores sell a product if they weren’t going to net any profit doing so?

    I was not disagreeing with you in my earlier post. I was merely pointing out that their complaints and surprised reaction to the taxes/fees on liquor are even more pathetic than the complaints about taxes causing the high price of gas because the liquor taxes were all fully spelled for them before they voted to pass the initiative.

    IQof88 said, “Why didn’t the lobby who opposed the privatization of booze in Washington State point that out clearly to the voters prior to the election?”

    Why were you depending on lobbyists to tell you what was in the initiative when the text of it was easily available to read and see for yourself?

  21. Fibonacci says:

    IQof88
    Oh I see, it is the fault of those AGAINST the initiative for its passage because they did not give you a good enough reason to vote no.What convoluted backwards reasoning.

    concernedtacoma7
    “mataure discourse coming from the usual leftists”–um, it is righties calling the voters of the state “dummies” not those on the left.

  22. ailindasue

    Fair enough. :-)

  23. took14theteam says:

    The CEO of Costco is a democrat and supporter of the democrat party. Enough said. That is why the leftists here don’t want his head on a stake.

    Now if his name was Romney……

  24. LOL……now THAT’s funny.

    The conservatives are the ones complaining about “the state” when they were siding with Costco during the campaign because they wanted cheap booze.

    I didn’t hear a word about the Costco CEO’s political affiliation while they though they were beating up the state government.

    The conservatives didn’t read the intiative and they got what they deserved.

  25. “Is the next step an initiative to lower liquor taxes, as tree_guy has suggested?”

    If we get really good at restricting taxes, we can be just like California.

    You know who gets hosed when state services get pulled? The conservatives on the east side of the state – in particular on school funding. It’s like the book “What is wrong with Kansas?”

  26. bobcat1a says:

    Conservatives have replaced Bart Simpson as the “I didn’t do it” boy.

  27. Exactly, it was conservatives getting all fired up about privatization that passed the bill. Costco dumped millions on the heads of unsuspecting conservative targets and they bought it hook line and sinker. People voted against their own economic interests (par for the course), which conservatives are repeatedly and constantly pursueded into doing…

  28. there was one side warning of the ramifications. and then there was the other side, which consisted of corporations. inevitably, companies will use their resources in order to maximize profits. this is nothing new. the bottom line of a company is profit, not goodwill or public well-being, profit is the reason of their existence. c’est raison d’etre…

  29. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Can anything “conservative” pass in this state? No. Stop the blame already.

  30. blakeshouse says:

    It was more than enough to remove state employees from the massive teat of the Soviet State of WA. I will continue to purchase larger ticket and “sin”n type items from out of this politburo. Oregon or Idaho are both nice drives and well worth the time to keep every penny out of Oly as is humanly possible

  31. Blake: U-Haul awaits your move…..

  32. jtarleton says:

    The people have spoken. They wanted it ….they got it…now don,t whine about it. Could cut down on alcohol consumption and it will definitely send more money to the state coffers. An example of Social engineering that the people of Washington have employed…I’m impressed.

  33. Mature discourse coming from the usual Rightists.

  34. scott0962 says:

    Getting the state out of the retail liquor business was the right thing to do, we create governments to do what we find needful and can’t do ourselves, not to compete with private enterprise.

    And those complaining about the high tax are right, it will creeate an incentive to buy elsewhere for those who can and to cut back on purchases for those who live farther from the border. The end result is likely to be that the actual revenues from those high liquor taxes are going to be less than what the state projected and they’ll spend more time next session dealing with how to raise money to cover the shortfall.

    Of course what they won’t consider is lowering the tax to increase sales because it’s a sin tax and therefor we “deserve” to pay it because a few people will abuse liquor and therefor the all-wise state must step in and protect the rest of us from ourselves–just like they did with state stores following the demise of Prohibition, and with Prohibition itself.

    They couldn’t save us by banning alcohol so now their strategy is to raise the price so high that people will stop buying it. The problem with that strategy is twofold: first, it only applies to people with limited means, the well to do will always be able to afford it and they have no more immunity from alcoholism than the rest of us; and second, those addicted to alcohol will still find ways to obtain it even if they have to resort to crime to pay for it just like people addicted to other drugs.

    No doubt the next step for the do-gooders will be to insist liquor labels include pictures of alcoholics in alleyways and diseased livers–which should increase sales of decanters, good news for the glass industry.

  35. This is THE BEST proof that conservatives will buy anything, as long as you make them think one of their ideologies is filled

  36. “Can anything “conservative” pass in this state? No.”

    Typical, when it goes badly, as it always does, you cons try to blame everyone else for your failures.

  37. Cheese with your whine blake?

  38. surething says:

    I knew it would go up, but I am fine with that. It is what it is. I am not a real booze consumer, but I am fine paying for the convenience. I guess if I was a souse I would care more. I always expect to get screwed anyways.

  39. The taxes where clearly listed in the initiative. Why didn’t you take the time to read the initiative before voting for it?

    Plus most of the taxes are not really new.

    Also, remember almost all states have an income tax, including California. I’m sure the state would gladly trade lower liquor taxes for an income tax.

  40. itwasntmethistime says:

    It’s not the taxes that are making the price go up. Those taxes were already there. The state’s cut is the same as it has always been.

  41. “The State should not need as much in taxes since they no longer operate a retail and distribution business.”

    If you would take the time to look, you would see the taxes are separate from the markup. The markup is was is used to pay the operating costs.

    http://liq.wa.gov/

  42. scooter6139 says:

    “I will continue to purchase larger ticket and “sin”n type items from out of this politburo. Oregon or Idaho are both nice drives and well worth the time to keep every penny out of Oly as is humanly possible.”

    Once again, why the heck do you live in this state? You repeatedly state that you are a parasite existing off of others who DO pay their taxes here to support this state. Why don’t you just move to Idaho? Or Arizona? Or Texas? Or Afghanistan?

    On the other hand, maybe one of these times when you are bringing in Liquor from out of the state the police might happen to notice. Then your already way overpriced booze (from the extra gas and mileage on your vehicle) will be taxed or confiscated.

  43. menopaws says:

    Every damn day, on these blogs, I read the rants against SOCIALISM. The State being in the liquor business is NOT free market capitalism. If Romney or Dino Rossi had shoved this law through, you would all be doing victory laps for free market capitalism. But, the Democrats do it and it is just shameful profiteering, right? Get a clue and next time read the voters guide. Free market is free market and taxes are taxes. If this kind of simple math is hard for you to understand, my third grade grandson can explain it to you………
    It’s tough when your own words become the noose around your neck, isn’t it………???? You had a SOCIALIST system—now it is open market……..The sound you might be hearing in the distance is MY LAUGHTER…….Deal with it. This is what you claim you believe in every damn day……….

  44. We had a bill that would have privatized liquor in 2010 (I-1100) and we voted no. This time corporations threw their money in people’s faces with all of the misinformation in an ad campaign. The reason this is upsetting is that we initially voted against this, then big business fooled a bunch of people into voting against their own economic interests with the reworked 1183. Most of us want liquor to be privatized, but the reason we have higher prices now is that people didnt care enough about the issue to pass an initiative until corporate dollars got involved. which of course, got us taxpayers a worse deal for ourselves.

  45. Menopaws,
    I agree with everything you said except…the Democrats didn’t push this one through, it was the right wing. Thats why it’s a mess.

  46. “I will continue to purchase larger ticket and “sin”n type items from out of this politburo. Oregon or Idaho are both nice drives and well worth the time to keep every penny out of Oly as is humanly possible.”

    Save more money. Move to Oregon (pay income tax) or Idaho(also income tax).

    As usual, a conservative that wants free services and they’ll pay extra to get them.

  47. Jeilee – the tax is ours,the base price is Freddy’s.

    Alindasue – weasels replaced the foxes.

    IQ – they did but were out spent by the backers.

    GHT – Can’t blame the Dems – Initiatives come from the ‘people’ – in this case from ‘people inc’.

    Give us a break – these were republicon initiatives and you lot are trying to shift blame away from the party of the rich and greedy.

    If the Rpot slime were in charge, the schools would be defunded and turned over to ‘private citizens’ to run.

    CT7 – and stupid mindless rants from the zombiecons.

    Took – Costco’s involvement just means it puts profits over politics.
    Blake – then why not move to Oregon.

    Jtar – it could also increase crime; both by individuals needing to buy their next drink, and by criminals bootlegging un-taxed booze. And expect Reservation Smoke Shops to start selling un-taxed alcohol.

  48. Any Conservative complaining about liquor sales being removed from the state are not really small government conservatives.

  49. itwasntmethistime says:

    xring — I feel left out. Can’t you pick on me too, please?

  50. Sorry Cousin IT – but I agree with you comment. Better luck next time.

  51. Mr. Qunell, did you turn down your last pay raise? No? Then you were greedy too, weren’t you?

  52. averageJoseph says:

    Any Conservative complaining about liquor sales being removed from the state are not really small government conservatives

    Really? Do tell… this should be enlightening. LMAO!

  53. alindasue says:

    jellee said, “…then big business fooled a bunch of people into voting against their own economic interests with the reworked 1183.”

    There was nothing hidden in I-1183. It was all clearly written out for everyone to read. Those who didn’t bother to read the initiative before voting or who voted just based on the initiative title only “fooled” themselves.

  54. averageJoseph says:

    Krumm? Entertain me…

  55. writnstuff says:

    BSD: Read and learn. The money from the state liquor stores paid for the stores with the excess going into the state’s general fund for education, healthcare and other services. We all benefitted. Now, the LCB is responsible for liquor enforcement at over 2,000 retailers. How much do you suppose that’s going to cost?

    Or, being a conservative, perhaps you’d rather there be no enforcement. Heaven help us all on the roads in that case.

  56. averageJoseph says:

    No comment krumm?

  57. Harry_Anslinger says:

    I did pore over the voter pamphlet for weeks on this initiative and I had to vote ‘no’ because I am always err on the side of caution when it comes to initiatives in general and I wanted a better written initiative than this one. I don’t drink enough to be impacted by the price of hard liquor, but worry about increased access to minors. Also the state run system was functionally sufficient, the opposition was mostly ideologically based, not practically based.

    Please take time to fully understand the implications of each specific initiative before voting.

  58. took14theteam says:

    The LCB was already responsible for enforcement at those 2000 retailers since they most likely sold beer and wine. Those products were sold to 21 and older people if you hadn’t noticed. The form of alcohol doesn’t matter to the LCB, it was their job to enforce proper sales.

    So if the opposition was ideology based, I assume you mean they were evil conservatives. So only conservatives want to pay less for a product then, according to you. Liberals are happy spending as much on a product as possible. Which doesn’t add up, because the liberals are the ones without any money, remember….

  59. averageJoseph says:

    I guess no then K.

  60. katzzmeow says:

    So lets see it’s the conservatives fault, no, wait it’s the liberals fault, no it’s the State, no it’s the LCB or Costco or my favorite Obama or Romney. Those who voted for it really can’t blame anybody but themselves for sticker shock. You really needed to know the structure of the LCB and the information was out there, you just had to look. The LCB made roughly 800 million a year 1/2 went into running the stores, payroll/benefits & product, the other 1/2 went into the WA’s General Fund. The State and the LCB were separate entities in many ways – State can’t live without the money generated by the LCB and the State money never went to operate the LCB. So those of you who voted for it shouldn’t be to surprised by the taxes and bottle fee. That 400 million shortfall has to come from somewhere.

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