Brewery workers protest plan to expand beer taxes

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Brewers gathered at the Capitol on Friday to protest a House budget proposal that makes permanent a beer tax on large breweries and extends the tax to small brewers.

Several state brewers spoke against the proposal at a public hearing in the morning before heading out to the Capitol steps, where about 100 people held a rally, carrying signs including “Give me beer or give me death” and “WA Beer = WA Jobs.”

The House wants to permanently extend a beer tax on large brewers selling more than 60,000 gallons that was set to expire in June, but looks to lower it from 50-cents-per-gallon to 25-cents-per-gallon. The tax would be extended to small brewers at 15-cent-per-gallon. Combined, the tax would bring in $58 million to the state.

The Senate’s budget proposal does not include the tax.

Lawmakers are nearing the end of the 105-day legislative session where they’re tasked with patching a projected budget deficit of more than $1.2 billion while also putting more money into the state’s basic education system. The House and Senate will have to work out their budget differences before the April 28 end of the regular session if they want to avoid going into special session.

Brewers say the tax will hurt their business, especially that of smaller brewers. “This is just a crushing proposal,” said Dick Cantwell, co-founder and head brewer of Elysian Brewing Company in Seattle. He said his brewery will likely end up having to pay an additional $600,000 a year if the proposal stands.

More in Herald Business Journal

Health-care consumers need to take the lead, so get smart

David Russian, CEO of Western Washington Medical Group, writes our third essay about fixing health care.

Robots on Wall Street: Slow-footed regulators lose ground

Watchdogs have to figure out how to check computers running lightening-fast algorithms.

More business, more competition for Everett kidney dialysis center

Nonprofit Puget Sound Kidney Centers sees large for-profit competitors enter state market.

Molina Medical holds fall carnival for families in Everett

Molina Medical is hosting a free event for families in the Everett… Continue reading

Leadership Snohomish County celebrates 20 years of service

Leadership Snohomish County is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The organization was launched… Continue reading

Snohomish, Monroe manufacturers honored for innovation, excellence

Two Snohomish County companies have been honored with Manufacturing Excellence awards at… Continue reading

Remodeled home tours planned this weekend

This weekend, Edmonds-based Chermak Construction will participate in the 2017 Remodeled Homes… Continue reading

Barron Heating to celebrate anniversary at Marysville showroom

Barron Heating and Air Conditioning is celebrating its 45th anniversary from 10… Continue reading

US budget deficit hits $666B, an $80B spike for the year

The deficit issue has largely fallen in prominence in Washington in recent years.

Most Read