Although Washington state faces a $4.2 billion deficit through 2023 due to the pandemic’s hit on the economy, there’s no indication a beer tax is being considered for the 2021 legislative session. But that didn’t stop the Washington alcohol beverage industry from going on the offensive.
In a letter sent to Gov. Jay Inslee and legislative leaders last week, representatives of the beer, grocery and hospitality industry urged policymakers “not to increase taxes on beer.”
“While we recognize the state is facing substantial budget challenges, we believe the harm caused by a beer tax increase would far outweigh the benefit for the state,” the letter said, according to an article in OPB.com.
Washington charges a per-barrel beer tax. For smaller breweries that rate is $4.782 per barrel. For larger breweries that produce more than 60,000 barrels a year, the tax is $8.08 per barrel.