Thursday, July 19, 2012

Liquor lovers make run for the border

One of the unintended consequences of privatizing hard liquor sales in Washington state is that it boosted sales in Oregon, where rum, vodka and tequila are sold at state-run liquor stores.

Who knew?

Costco's $20 million campaign in Washington state paid off at the ballot box last November in the sense that the Washington-based company can now sell the "hard stuff" at its warehouses.

But, along with that right comes the costs.

Like Oregon, Washington made a tidy profit selling liquor to the masses. In lieu of that right, voters approved the state's right to tax buyers of hooch in Washington a hefty tax to make up for the loss of revenues at state-run stores.

Those taxes are a 10 percent distributor fee and a 17 percent retail fee.

So, those living along the border with Oregon, crawled over the Columbia River crossings like craven alcoholics to get their fix for less.

Oregon liquor sales in major cities along the Washington border surged 35 percent in June, when the new Washington liquor taxes took effect.

One Oregon store in Rainier, across the Columbia River from Longview, Wash., according to the Associated Press, saw sales increase 60 percent since Washington privatized hard liquor sales.

A shout out to drinkers in the Evergreen State for subsidizing public services in the Beaver State.

Keep shopping here. We have no sales tax and our liquor is cheaper.

Now, if Oregon legalizes marijuana this November, we can expect many more Washingtonians to cross the river for another way to escape their rainy realities.

No comments:

Post a Comment