I lift my glass to Sherry Jennings and Diamond Knot Craft Brewing in opposition to Senate Bill 5039 and its companion House Bill 1122. (Thursday letter, “Beer tax plan will hurt craft brewer.”) These bills single out Washington breweries and penalize them with tax increase that is unfair because of the size of the increase. Beer is not the only tax increase in these bills that will trickle down to Washington voters.
Also awarded tax increase extensions are services industries and motor fuel refiners and distributors. The professional and personal service providers B&O tax rate increase is 0.3 percent. The fuel distributors new tax of 4.62 percent is phased in over the next four years.
In comparison, brewers see their tax for “the privilege” of making beer in Washington increase from $8.08 to $23.58 per 31-gallon barrel. That’s an additional $15.50, or a 292 percent increase. Our state’s brewers are clearly doing something wrong.
Could it be that the Washington Beer Commission isn’t contributing generously enough to our elected officials?
Shame on Sen. Paull Shin for co-sponsoring this grossly unfair tax increase on one of the few job-creating, growth industries in our state.
Support your local brewer, shun your local senator.