New Washington Beer Tax is Bad Idea

Nobody likes a beer tax, right? Check with your local legislator
Kendall Jones is a mere man. But he is doing all he can to ensure that you all know his plight – kill the proposed beer tax that could hike your six pack tag about .50 cents. (update – 4/8/10 – the tax should be about .26 cents per 6-pack)

Kendall is the editor and author of Washington Beer Blog, a wonderful blog about the state of beer in the grand ole state of Washington. While our site keeps the binoculars over the world of beer, it does so from the city of Seattle. So, inevitably this is where our heart resides.

Over the past week, Kendall has written a trio of articles about a proposed “beer tax” that would establish a .50 cents per gallon tax on all beer sold in the state of Washington. The hike is part of a tax plan that would raise roughly $60 million directly from the beer tax, according to the Associated Press.

The beer tax is reported to target only those producers who brew and sell 60,000 barrels of beer per year. This is typically referred to as the microbrewery cut off line. The same line was utilized in a federal beer tax plan that is still being circulated around Washington D.C., which we discussed in an earlier article.

But the tax is a step in the wrong direction – targeting regulation in a time when the growing industry needs coddling and assistance. Breweries in our fair state are finally beginning to grow, beginning to see a financial return and beginning to invest that in the community by creating jobs, buying more locally farmed ingredients and forging more relationships with local distributors, bars and restaurants. The culture is growing – its not time to suppress it. (though we would say that there is no time to suppress it)

Kendall has done such a wonderful job reporting about his disdain for this bill, we thought we would throw our hat into the ring and help publicize his plea. His plea is clear: tax legislation is a “slippery slope” and once it begins its ever so easy to keep pushing.

Washington Beer Blog has proposed that you write your legislator to voice your opinion on the bill. Kendall was even so nice to share his e-mail to his own lawmakers with a note begging plagiarism. We agree. Write your lawmakers – they listen.

Don’t believe that they listen? I wrote my long-winded, mushy plea to my district’s Reuven Carlyle (House), Mary Dickerson (House) and Jeanne Kohl-Welles (Senate) at 8:14 PM. At 8:20, I received an enthusiastic response from Reuven Carlyle, who stated his support for the small brewers of Washington. They are there to listen – and they are doing so.

Please contact your legislator by visiting the state legislator’s website and inputting your address. The site will provide you with your legislator’s e-mail addresses and you can even request a response.

Please take 5 minutes and reach out. 5 minutes might save your plenty of dough on your sixers. Thanks Kendall for your zealous publicity of this bill.

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