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

Best foot forward: Ferndale company to make custom shoes easy

Long specializing in insoles, Superfeet is putting 3-D machines in stores to make customized shoes.

Does a hypersonic US reconnaissance plane already exist?

A Skunk Works executive speaks of the top secret aircraft as if it is already in operation.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Port of Everett CEO Les Reardanz has been called up and will be spending much of the year away from his office. He is going to Afghanistan. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Port of Everett CEO reporting for duty — in Afghanistan

Les Reardanz has been called to active duty with the Navy for an eight-month deployment.

Boeing opens new $17 million training center in Auburn

Workers and dignitaries marked the grand opening of the facility Monday.

Trump’s company fights efforts to shed the president’s name

“Our homes are worth more without the Trump name.”

Airbus floats shutdown of A380 superjumbo

The aircraft is so big that some airports had to expand runways to accommodate the 550-seat plane.

Why 7-Eleven, inventor of the Slurpee, is going organic

As sales of gas, cigarettes and soda plummet, stores to offer “better-for-you” products.

Make sure you don’t miss the memo for financial freedom

Economic empowerment for low- to moderate-income individuals and families.

Most Read