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Washington lawmakers consider cutting taxes for beer and booze

Seattle's Community Policing Commission wants city leaders to consider allowing public-drinking locations. (AP)

Breweries, vintners and distilleries may have cause to rejoice if Washington lawmakers pass an amendment that would dramatically cut taxes on their small businesses.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that the state’s lawmakers are considering knocking down some taxes currently on Washington’s imbibing industry. The taxes could be cut by as much a half.

For example, beer in Washington is taxed as such:

• $18 per 31-gallon barrel; reduced tax rate is $7 per barrel for the first 60,000 if the brewer pumps out less than two million barrels each year.

But an amendment put forth by Sen. Patty Murray, among others, would change that tax system as such:

• $16 per 31-gallon barrel.
• Domestic breweries producing less than two million barrels per year would pay $3.50 for the first 60,000 barrels.

That should come as good news to Washington craft breweries that often make small batches and produce far less beer than their major competition on the market.

The amendment also proposes similar cuts to spirits and wine taxes.


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