No more sticker shock on Washington liquor priceson July 6, 2012 @ 2:03 pm (Updated: 3:44 pm - 7/6/12 )
Most retailers have been posting the pre-tax prices for liquor in the month since sales began at private stores. That meant the price at the register was a lot higher than advertised.
The Seattle Times reports Metropolitan Market and Total Wine are now posting the prices including taxes. Costco plans to start posting the price after taxes as well.
Safeway is still considering the measure. Fred Meyer and QFC grocery stores, however, will continue to post the pre-tax prices for alcoholic beverages.
Since alcohol was privatized June 1, prices have increased because of the distributor and seller mark-ups, as well as the state taxes.
The alcohol and liter-quantity taxes can add $5-$15 per bottle in taxes at the register, depending on the size of the bottle.
The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that tracks tax rates including sales taxes in states across the U.S., says that Washington liquor taxes were the highest in the country.
Currently, consumers pay $13.50 per gallon in federal excise taxes and $3.77 per liter in state taxes, which were present under the old state-owned system. As of June 1, individuals must also pay a new 20.5 percent liquor tax on all purchases.
Retailers and distributors are also taxed.
Stores must pay an annual license fee equal to 17 percent of their gross revenues from alcohol, and $166 to renew the license.
Distributors must pay 10 percent of gross revenues to renew their licenses.
97.3 KIRO Reporter Chris Sullivan contributed to this report.
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