Re: “The liquor store hangover” (TNT, 12-9).
The front-page article depicts the hangover the state of Washington, Safeway, Walmart, etc., along with the liquor distributors, have inflicted on the mom-and-pop liquor retail business.
Granted the new owners should have known about all the fees associated with buying into this business of liquor sales, but that alone is no excuse for the crippling taxes laid on those who don’t have the resources big retailers enjoy. The article notes that Oregon is reaping substantially from our state’s overly regressive and oppressive tax system on booze.
Putting the squeeze on the mom-and-pop stores, with hopes of thwarting competition, is counter to the benefit of all. Not only does the system bankrupt the little guy, it also depletes the tax base, puts people out of work, and may put some on subsistence – which invariably becomes a cost and not an income to state coffers. It’s a lose-lose proposition to everyone but those the state, in a roundabout way, underwrites.
The state should allow mom-and-pop stores to co-op so they too can enjoy the same rates allowed big corporations. Unfortunately, lobbyists have already made sure that can’t happen.