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A deal brewing in Olympia?

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on April 5, 2010 at 2:09 pm with No Comments »
April 5, 2010 3:01 pm

Senate Democrats have a new proposal they hope will get them out of Olympia, and it includes a beer tax.

Their latest offer to their House colleagues includes a 50-cents-per-gallon tax increase on beer that would exempt microbrews, a new proposal that was in neither the House nor the Senate budget.

Now we’ll see what the House and Gov. Chris Gregoire think about the plan announced today.

Also in the offer, senators agreed to House Democrats’ proposal to tax candy and gum, but sweetened the deal for balking senators by including a tax credit for in-state producers.

Senate leaders are hanging on by their fingernails to a proposed sales tax increase, which has been a deal breaker in the House and Gregoire’s office. Originally a three-tenths of a cent increase, the idea has been scaled back and the latest pitch is one-tenth of a cent.

The offer also adopts the House position to increase taxes on all tobacco products, not just cigarettes.

UPDATE: The beer tax would nearly triple under the latest proposal.

Beer taxes now stand at $8.08 per barrel, or about 26 cents a gallon. (Details at the Department of Revenue).

The new 50-cents-a-gallon proposal would bring the tax to $23.58 per barrel. Microbreweries would be exempt.

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