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(NBC News)   Washington State's privatization of liquor sales leads to surge in liquor sales...in Oregon   (nbcnews.com) divider line 43
    More: Obvious, Oregon, tri-cities, sales lead, Columbia River, Walla Walla, liquors  
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11447 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Jul 2012 at 5:10 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Archived thread
2012-07-19 05:56:12 AM
5 votes:
Washington State's privatization of liquor sales ridiculous taxes on liquor leads to surge in liquor sales...in Oregon
2012-07-19 08:42:54 AM
3 votes:

Uh Oh Chongo Danger Island!: The additional taxes are supposed to be temporary


So was income tax witholding.

Lucky LaRue: So, basically, Washington had been subsidizing its liquor industry?

Pay attention, Red States... You may learn something here about free enterprise...


Before, the state marked up the booze to make revenue.

Now the retailers are doing the same thing except.... [the state] also imposed an additional 10 percent distributor fee and 17 percent retail fee to replace money the state lost when it shut down its state-run liquor stores. The result was higher prices for consumers at many retail outlets.

This isn't about free enterprise, it's about shiat taxes.
2012-07-19 01:57:29 AM
3 votes:
Ummmmm.... Last week I picked up a bottle of Grey Goose for about $5 less than I'm used to paying in liquor stores. And the "HUGE" extra taxes and fees came to $3.

The old liquor stores are still in business only their prices are lower. AND (this is an important one) they are (a really important one) open on Sundays.
2012-07-18 11:34:56 PM
3 votes:
So now the state just takes their 27% tax and doesn't do the job they never should have had. Wonderful. Time for a new ballot initiative.
2012-07-18 10:06:09 PM
3 votes:
Washington voters last fall approved an initiative taking the state out of the liquor business for the first time since Prohibition. The measure allows large retailers like grocery stores and Costco to sell liquor, but it also imposed an additional 10 percent distributor fee and 17 percent retail fee to replace money the state lost when it shut down its state-run liquor stores. The result was higher prices for consumers at many retail outlets.

Washington Lawmakers:

ih3.redbubble.net
2012-07-19 07:04:19 PM
2 votes:
There's a lot of confusion over what's happening with this law and the new higher prices.

The taxes did not go up; Washingtonians have been paying these same two taxes in the same amount since forever. If you don't believe me, I can show you the old price sheets they used to have. The difference is that the taxes were included in the shelf-tag price in the state stores. Most private stores aren't doing that, so it seems like an increase. It's not.

The price increase is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT wholesaler + retailer markups, not tax.

The reason the wholesale price went up is because, according to the law, if the tax receipts to the state in the first year of operation fall short of what they were in the last year of the old system, the wholesalers have to make up the difference. They're required to set aside I think $150 million for this purpose. The wholesalers are a little nervous about this.

I'm guessing a big part of why people are going to Oregon is because they don't HAVE liquor stores nearby anymore. Safeway or QFC is great if you're looking to buy one of the ten most common brands, but if you're looking for anything else, where are you supposed to go? Some of the old stores were bought by private citizens, but the ones I've seen are woefully undercapitalized (the one closest to me has seemingly 10,000 bottles of Jim Beam and absolutely nothing else). Any new stores have to be 10,000 sq. ft. or more -- the "Costco rule" designed to keep small business OUT. And even if you have one of those nearby, how are you supposed to know it's there?
2012-07-19 10:13:42 AM
2 votes:
The original reason for the State Liquor Control Board was the Conservatives. They wanted to keep prohibition in place. The Conservatives were the ones who pushed the 18th Amendment through, and they would not agree to the 21st without some measure of control of Liquor sales by the Government. The WSLCB was a direct compromise by the Liberals to Conservatives to ratification of the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution by the Washington State legislature.

Bear in mind, that before the 18th Amendment, alcoholism was so prevalent that people regularly drank themselves to death by their mid 40's in the US, and there were almost no restrictions on who could buy it. That was the original reason for the religious nuts to shove the 18th Amendment through in the first place. Alcohol related diseases were the number one cause of premature death in the country. There are hundreds of photographs of old saloons and taverns that show kids as young as 12 drinking.

I voted against the bill, as I see the value of a revenue stream to the State. The State does in fact have the right to impose taxes, it is both in the State Constitution and the Federal Constitution. The States paramount duty to its citizens is education, that is also spelled out quite specifically in the State Constitution. This system was supported in large part by the States profits on liquor. The loss of those profits had to be compensated for by taxation of retail sales. Now, those profits are going to private companies, and the State has lost that revenue stream.

Washington State has had several major tax reductions over the last 15 years. The "privatize everything" crowd are really just people who cannot stand the fact that the State has the right to enforce the law. The law is supported by taxation. so they claim to want to reduce the number of laws. But those laws did not appear in a vacuum, they were imposed for a reason. Food safety, workplace safety, labor laws, child and family protections, traffic laws, standards on how residences can be built, standards on how gas stations can sell fuels. Prisons, road construction, sewers, water treatment and delivery. There are too many to list of course, but the fact is, nearly all of those laws were put in place because someone was running a scam somewhere, or poisoning people or stealing from people and people wanted to have laws put in place to restrict people from running those scams, and have a means of punishing the ones who did.

I have no sympathy whatsoever for the drunks in this State. You made your bed, now pass out and puke in it, morons.
2012-07-19 08:32:13 AM
2 votes:

legendary: Who are the idiots that voted for this?


The mistake wasn't for the state to get the hell out of the liquor business (which it has no business being in) but imposing such an idiotic tax.
2012-07-19 07:30:40 AM
2 votes:

Satanic_Hamster: The measure allows large retailers like grocery stores and Costco to sell liquor, but it also imposed an additional 10 percent distributor fee and 17 percent retail fee to replace money the state lost when it shut down its state-run liquor stores.

Screw you, state. Not even a liquor drinker but that's bull.


The money they were making to be used for public works programs had to be replaced. If the people in the state wanted booze to be cheaper, they should have left things as is.

Revenue doesn't magically reappear when you destroy a revenue stream after all, and that money was being used.
2012-07-19 06:28:42 AM
2 votes:

Lucky LaRue: So, basically, Washington had been subsidizing its liquor industry?

Pay attention, Red States... You may learn something here about free enterprise...


The government is driving paying customers away by taxing the holy hell out of booze now because they no longer have a monopoly on it's profits and your solution is more government involvement? There was never a subsidy. The government used to get all of the profits and now they only get their tax cut so they raised taxes in a short sighted attempt to make up the entire difference by fleecing the public.

These government geniuses can never seem to understand that raising taxes isn't just a license to print money and when prices go through the roof people aren't just going to continue buying as much and as often as they used to. It's nothing more than a great way to create black markets or just drive business out of their state such as this case.
2012-07-19 12:19:58 AM
2 votes:

ontariolightning: Ontarioans wish the province didn't own the liquor stores so they could buy liquor in grocery stores and convenience stores.


The cool part of the LCBO is how big it is... the variety of wines and for that matter everything else, would likely diminish without it. Yea we pay too much for booze, but that's not up to the LCBO, that all taxes...
2012-07-20 06:55:45 PM
1 votes:

legendary: Who are the idiots that voted for this?


I knew the price would go up. I knew some small stores would go away. I voted for it.


First, the state shouldn't be in the business of operating the stores.

Second, because the WA selection outright sucked. Maybe if you were in Seattle or Spokane you could find something. Get out in the small towns and you had the choice of Jack Daniels or Crown Royal.

Third, there will be some pain while things settle down, but it won't last. Say what you will about the WA state initiative process, but we use ours. I bet you see some modifications coming up soon.


One other thing. WA isn't a red state. We're a bunch of independent hippies out here. Even the eastern side of the state is a bit odd.
2012-07-20 12:34:55 AM
1 votes:

MoeSzyslak: So the business is privatized and the government raises taxes fees 27% driving up the prices of alcohol and chasing away customers but the problem here isn't with the government but rather the private sector for having the audacity to get involved in the retail sale of goods?


No, the problem is that the private sector sponsored an initiative that included the 27% tax in it, and people who didn't read the fine print are pissed off that they got what they voted for.
2012-07-19 10:21:34 PM
1 votes:

MoeSzyslak: JohnBigBootay: FormlessOne: Retailers are jacking up the prices - in some cases, the high-end stuff has tripled or more in price - enormously, even as the selection dried up because some of the big box folks have negotiated sweetheart deals with specific distributors.

I'll bite, show me an example of a liquor selling at more than triple the price.

Don't hold your breath waiting for an example. For some reason a bunch of folks here seem to think that the government should be in the business of selling booze because they seem to believe that the benevolent government is so much more efficient and better at pricing and selling alcohol than shady free market private business assholes. You know because the government does such a great job of not completely farking up everything it meddles in. The government could fark up the recipe for a glass of milk.

To be honest I think the last thing this person or the farking dimwit towards the beginning of the thread who said that red states should look at the former government run monopoly on alcohol sales WA used to have as an example of how free enterprise should work need is access to cheaper alcohol. When in your mind government monopoly = free enterprise it's time to put the sauce down.


I won't.

Here's how I feel about it in general... there's an adjustment period going on right now, some odd retailer behavior with respect to this reserve fund and they don't want to get caught with their pants down but it will eventually settle out and the market will do what it does. People in Washington want to drink booze. People who sell booze want to sell it to anyone, they don't care where they live. And the state wants to collect tax on shiat that gets sold here. The equalization will happen as it always does. And border dwellers will continue to do as they have always done and drive over the border to make the purchases that seem worth going out of their way for. I don't see the big deal - and even if it was a big deal, the state still has no business in the liquor trade.
2012-07-19 08:59:55 PM
1 votes:

FormlessOne: Retailers are jacking up the prices - in some cases, the high-end stuff has tripled or more in price - enormously, even as the selection dried up because some of the big box folks have negotiated sweetheart deals with specific distributors.


I'll bite, show me an example of a liquor selling at more than triple the price.
2012-07-19 07:16:33 PM
1 votes:

Generation_D: casey17: farkityfarker: What's sad is that Washington State already had almost the highest liquor prices in the country. (I think it was 3rd after AK and HI). This is why many people voted for the initiative. They thought it would lower the prices somewhat.

^^^^THIS^^^^

Also, it was supposed to increase the choice of brands & from what I can tell it's DECREASED them. Not to mention stores like Safeway & QFC never seem to have a full shelf. It is the exact opposite from what we were told it would be. However, I'm not going to waste the gas on a 3 hr. trip to Portland to save $5-$10 bucks. It sucks all the way around. :-(

Thats been my experience as well. The State Stores carried about 300 varieties of Single Malt scotch, as well as a full range of fledgling local distilleries.

Big ass stores like Safeway have a whole bunch of Crown Royal. And because of the wholesale tax increase, as well as the 10,000 foot / inventory requirements in the law, unless you are a big box store with a big variety on hand already .. you won't be carrying many of the niche brands the state stores used to have to carry.

Its a big damn dirty shame how much the public didn't care about the negative impact. They voted to hand Costco a big payday, as well as out of state wholesalers. Small local distilleries are threatened with survival now, and any fan of niche brand alcohol is having to scramble around to figure out where to buy, if they can find their favorite brands at all. Variety is way down at retail, even the newer just-opened stores don't have the same variety. And likely won't, since there's no "private market incentive" for them to. And niche liquor stores cant afford to open because they can't afford to be 10,000 square foot. Beautiful catch-22 Costco and the voters created.


Well luckily speciality shops are opening up. I live in washinton, when the law first changed we went to oregon to buy shooters to take on a plane trip since we didn't know where to buy them in washington(we left from PDX) . When we got back into our town a brand new huge retail store that sells beer/liquor and wine had openened up with any brand we could ask for and a few we never heard of. I think the selection at normal retailers will be limited since they don't specialize in liquor sales anyways but as more speciality stores open the selections will all be available.
2012-07-19 05:32:48 PM
1 votes:

insertsnarkyusername: I'm a smoker as well so I know what that is like. Yes it's completely optional, and I've been choosing not to drink nearly as much. The extra cost pisses me off but screw it, I'd pay up if they actually carried the higher end stuff that I used to buy. I'd rather spend 60 on a bottle of really good bourbon than drink the cheap crap that is every where now. But I don't even have that option any more.


I have to admit I really don't care much about liquor or its cost. My health premiums went up 17% last year. Water, garbage, and electricity went up this year. The cost of a bottle of booze is the least of my worries. It was on the ballot and it passed. Personally I'm ready to move on.
2012-07-19 05:19:43 PM
1 votes:

insertsnarkyusername: While it's a bit easier to get liquor now I still told every one of you farkers how it would decrease selection and increase prices. The responses I got back were basically "BUT...BUT.... SOCIALISMS!!!!!" And now I'm paying around 10 dollars more for pretty much everything I buy. Not only that the stores don't even include the taxes in the price. You literally have to figure it will go up another 25 percent when you take it to the register.


Welcome to the tax burden smokers have been living with for a long time now. No one needs liquor. Don't want to pay for it, don't buy it or go elsewhere. Drinking liquor is completely optional.
2012-07-19 05:10:45 PM
1 votes:

WSUCanuck: The fark do you people mean "Washington State has no business being in a liquor monopoly".

If the people of the state want it, they'll get it.



Right. The citizens of Wa State 'wanted' state run liquor control so they requested their governor appoint a 3 man liquor control board back in 1933. Clearly, that was the collective will of the citizens at work.
2012-07-19 04:15:02 PM
1 votes:

Telephone Sanitizer Second Class: Yes, the 2010 initiative


Both of these things are true...

The Wa State initiative process is farked up

Wa. State has no business being in a liquor monopoly

As for the prices - I've found the price change minimal and even cheaper in a couple of instances. I honestly give a rat's ass. Liquor is not a substantial portion of my net income. For those whom it is, taxes are the least of your worries. I just got back from a trip where gas was almost a dollar less than I'm used to paying and cigarettes are literally half. I don't really care - different things cost different prices in different places and sometimes prices change. Feel free to move about as you wish.

/owns 100 shares of costco too, but that's not why I voted yes - I'd have voted for any bill that got the state out of the liquor selling business. I voted for the last one too.
2012-07-19 02:16:12 PM
1 votes:
This is more of an idiot tax anyway.

The price of my fav rum is $1 more expensive than it was before. If I tried driving more than a few extra miles to buy it, the fuel cost negates the savings.
2012-07-19 12:46:07 PM
1 votes:

IntertubeUser: I'd rather the taxes not be as high as they are currently. But the good news is that there are now four places selling liquor within walking distance from me and, prior to privatization, the nearest store was a five-to-ten minute drive. On top of that, the hours are more convenient and the service is typically better.


A-freakin'-men. I don't really care what the suburbanites think about this. It certainly seems like a win win win for city dwellers. Now I can walk to several liquor outlets and I can buy it on the day and time and location of my choosing. The first couple of trips have actually been cheaper. Not that I give two squats about the money. If liquor expense is a substantial portion of your budget, well..., I don't know what to tell you. Drink wine or beer. Or perhaps consider some healthful lifestyle changes.
2012-07-19 12:31:43 PM
1 votes:

meat0918: The market corrects prices, but price correction does not necessarily mean lower prices.


People are going where the lower prices are, no?
2012-07-19 12:29:58 PM
1 votes:

The_Sponge: Chameleon: The 10k foot requirement was thrown in as a money grab by Costco and Safeway,


No it wasn't. It was a concession because Costco supported the first privitization initiative, but that wasn't good enough for the soccer moms who were soooo concerned about liquor sales at gas stations.


Little bit of column A, little bit of column B. Do you think Costco was upset that smaller stores wouldn't be able to compete?
2012-07-19 12:13:18 PM
1 votes:

beta_plus: So basically Washington State imposed a stealth tax on liquor and liberals are now screaming with butthurt.


I guess it was stealthy. If you can't read that is. I have no pity for people who voted for initiatives they didn't understand.
2012-07-19 12:08:36 PM
1 votes:
Seattle resident who voted for it and is glad it passed. It's not perfect legislation by any means. But the state monopolizing one kind of spirits sales is so far out of their mandate it makes my head hurt. I voted for the other alternative before and I'd have voted yes on any of them. Present me a better bill in the future and I'll vote for that one too.

Sorry about the guy whose liquor checkout guy lost his job. Me, I think everyone should get a state pension. But I don't have one, nor do most people. Until everyone does, liquor store checkout guys are not at the top of my list for lifetime pensions and state benefits. Very poor use of limited state resources.
2012-07-19 10:19:07 AM
1 votes:
This was a bad law. I knew it was a bad law. Anyone who was paying attention knew it was a bad law.

The 10k foot requirement was thrown in as a money grab by Costco and Safeway, and sold as a "think of the children!" idea, since people were freaking out that their snowflakes might be able to buy liquor at the gas station. It was, as others have said, also supposed to increase competition, but the state stores actually had some decent microbrands that are totally absent from the big stores now.

I'm happy about the taxes because our state is already screwed since idiots here refuse to implement an income tax, and the major businesses threaten to pick up and leave for Carolinistan any time the words "corporate taxes" are whispered. I like having schools, working roads, world-class public universities, and health care for low income children. So do most Washingtonians. But we have to pay for it somehow and if the booze has to now make a profit for Sam Walton as well as pay for our stuff, it's gonna cost more. And anyone paying attention should have figured that out.
2012-07-19 09:59:34 AM
1 votes:

Lucky LaRue: So, basically, Washington had been subsidizing using its liquor industry as a cash cow, and decided to tax the everloving sheeeeit out of it in retaliation of lost buttrape money?

Pay attention, Red Blue States... You may learn something here about free enterprise...


FTFY.
And FTFA: it also imposed an additional 10 percent distributor fee and 17 percent retail fee to replace money the state lost when it shut down its state-run liquor stores.

Can't decide who's more of an idiot, you or Failmitter.
2012-07-19 09:39:33 AM
1 votes:
"If you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. I am always struck by people who think, "It must be because I was just so smart." There are a lot of smart people out there. "It must be because I worked harder than everybody else." Let me tell you something: There are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you are successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business, you did not build that-somebody else made that happen."

Barack Obama, Roanoke, VA, 7/13/2012
2012-07-19 09:26:59 AM
1 votes:

legendary: Who are the idiots that voted for this?


Republican alcoholics.
2012-07-19 09:24:17 AM
1 votes:

rohar: Uh, because the state IS the public. We're one in the same. We voted for the taxes. Pretty much our fault


But why was that the only option? Either state owned or state farked?
2012-07-19 09:22:53 AM
1 votes:

MarkEC: There's legislation being proposed in PA to privatize wine and liquor sales. I have the feeling that if it passes, we'll have the same issue as Washington. Wine does cost more here than in some states, not because of the licensing, but because of the taxes. Privatizing won't do anything to change that. I'd rather buy a bottle of wine in the current stores, where the employees know their wines, than in a grocery store where there isn't anyone you can talk to about wine. If you compare the knowledge of the liquor store employers about wine to the beer distributor employees about beer, there's no competition. The exception is the new Giant Eagle near me that now sells beer. They have people there that really know beer. For someone who likes to try new micro brews, it's great. I was steered to Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter the other day. Not only is it a great beer, but the price was right at $10 for a 6-pack.


Why would you have to buy wine at the supermarket? If the PCRB was gone, then you could get awesome wine stores like a few in Jersey that have rows and rows of great wine. I got the PCRB store looking for some Argentinean wine, I'm lucky if there are 3 to choose from. At Total Wine & More or Hops & Grapes there are 20+ cheaper than I can get in Argentina.
2012-07-19 09:15:35 AM
1 votes:
There's legislation being proposed in PA to privatize wine and liquor sales. I have the feeling that if it passes, we'll have the same issue as Washington. Wine does cost more here than in some states, not because of the licensing, but because of the taxes. Privatizing won't do anything to change that. I'd rather buy a bottle of wine in the current stores, where the employees know their wines, than in a grocery store where there isn't anyone you can talk to about wine. If you compare the knowledge of the liquor store employers about wine to the beer distributor employees about beer, there's no competition. The exception is the new Giant Eagle near me that now sells beer. They have people there that really know beer. For someone who likes to try new micro brews, it's great. I was steered to Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter the other day. Not only is it a great beer, but the price was right at $10 for a 6-pack.
2012-07-19 08:49:26 AM
1 votes:
What's sad is that Washington State already had almost the highest liquor prices in the country. (I think it was 3rd after AK and HI). This is why many people voted for the initiative. They thought it would lower the prices somewhat.
2012-07-19 07:53:05 AM
1 votes:

GAT_00: violentsalvation: the job they never should have had

Why exactly is it wrong for the state to sell booze?


It's not wrong for the state to sell booze so much as it's wrong for the state to sell booze and make any competition to it's own business illegal. If it was some rich corporation that was buying itself a monopoly you would be crying on Fark so hard your head would explode, but since it's the government, you openly accept it.
2012-07-19 07:48:09 AM
1 votes:

MyToeHurts: doglover: Washington voters last fall approved an initiative taking the state out of the liquor business for the first time since Prohibition. The measure allows large retailers like grocery stores and Costco to sell liquor, but it also imposed an additional 10 percent distributor fee and 17 percent retail fee to replace money the state lost when it shut down its state-run liquor stores. The result was higher prices for consumers at many retail outlets.

Washington Lawmakers:

Nothing went wrong. At least not for the people who wrote the legi$lation.


HAHA! I see what you did there! You changed the "s" in "legislation" with a dollar sign! That's brilliant! No one has ever done that before!
b3x
2012-07-19 06:59:04 AM
1 votes:
I live in NY so I am really getting a kick out of people being butthurt over sin taxes ...
2012-07-19 06:21:50 AM
1 votes:
The taxes are about the same that they have been from when there was a state monopoly on liquor sales. A lot of the huge price increases are from large retail markups. This voted initiative was largely funded by Costco. I imagine that Costco was counting on a lot of retailers to put huge markups so more people would buy at Costco.

About a year before this initiative was voted on there was a very similar initiative which would have removed the taxes, and that initiative failed. Trying to remove a large amount of state income during a recession when the state was doing massive service cuts was not very popular. So they came out with this new initiative which effectively kept the taxes in place, and most people don't drink liquor regularly anyway, so it was easy to vote to keep the tax on liquor. I think most people knew what they were voting for and didn't give a damn if the heavy liquor drinkers got taxed.
2012-07-19 05:18:51 AM
1 votes:
Don't do alcohol. It's a ghetto drug.
2012-07-19 12:17:38 AM
1 votes:

legendary: Who are the idiots that voted for this?


The ones who are driving across state lines to get to the "cheaper" booze.

/voters in my state lack the comprehension of reading
2012-07-18 11:41:15 PM
1 votes:
17% at retail, holy shiat how did they calculate that tax, and furthermore think it wasn't going to hurt the small businessman?
2012-07-18 10:35:04 PM
1 votes:
I saw this coming. Carpool to PDX for booze and smokes, visit a decent strip club, make a day of it. The taxes are ridiculous - 27%. Beer and wine are only 10%.
Oh well, the res has a steady flow of traffic.
2012-07-18 09:35:17 PM
1 votes:
Oh wow. I wonder when people will realize that they're spending more money doing it that way than if they just bought their tequila at the damn QFC.
 
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