Inside Opinion

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Tag: i-1183


Liquor privatization: Another negative consequence

After liquor sales were privatized June 1, a lot of people complained about the often higher prices, which incorporated new taxes required under voter-approved Initiative 1183. Others said the increase was well worth the greater convenience of more locations selling liquor virtually around the clock.

But one point hardly anyone is talking about is how privatization has narrowed choice and made it much harder to locate more obscure items.

For instance, before privatization went into effect, I was looking for a liqueur called Creme de Violette after reading an article about a famous old cocktail using it. The state liquor store I usually patronized didn’t carry it, but the clerk looked it up for me in the state database and said another store not far away carried it. He even offered to call over and have it held for me. Read more »


Liquor prices didn’t drop? That shouldn’t be a surprise

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

Many shoppers checking out the prices of liquor stocked at supermarkets and other outlets seem to be confused. They don’t understand why they’re paying at least as much for most items as before privatization took effect on Friday and, in some cases, more.

Presumably at least some of those shoppers helped pass Initiative 1183 last November to privatize liquor sales. Even though that initiative was written and promoted at high cost by Costco – which spent more than $22 million getting it passed – many folks seem to think the higher costs were imposed by “the state” or “the Legislature,” even “the governor.”

No, the voters are responsible for those higher costs. That’s what they voted for when they marked “yes” on I-1183. Read more »


Stick with I-1183’s voter-approved liquor fees

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

Retailers who hope to make money by selling alcohol to Washington residents once the state gets out of liquor sales June 1 now are trying to change the rules of the game that led to privatization.

Initiative 1183, which was approved in November, succeeded where similar privatization efforts failed because of the way it was sold to voters. It reassured them – complete with fatherly testimonials by police and firefighters –  that local public safety would be held harmless if I-1183 passed.

In fact, due to extra fees liquor retailers would pay under provisions of I-1183, local governments would get millions of dollars more than they were getting under state control of liquor. That extra money would help pay the cost of enforcing the effects of liquor sales at so many new outlets across the state. Read more »