This week I am sure you are aware of the current battle with the State of Washington and the possible raising and extending the beer tax.  This is one of the most progressive and highest beer taxes proposed in the country.  So I asked the brewers/breweries the following question and below are there answers.  I got an overwhelming response so I am posting every reply I received.

The question – The Governors proposed plan is to Extend and Raise the Beer Tax here in WA State.  How do you feel this proposal will affect your brewery?  

Triplehorn Brewing – Triplehorn Brewing
I’m afraid much of what I have to say is unfit for publishing and children’s ears.

I am appalled at the irresponsibility of legislators, being the burden of small business.  How would people feel if, for example, their boss asked them to work 50 hours a week instead of 40, for an entire year, all in the auspice of getting the company into the black.  Then, after the year is done, and long hours were arduous yet satisfied, the boss spent more than budgeted, then tells you your hours are not going back, but being extended to 80 hours, while your superior’s hours are being reduced???  (Who is doing their accounting?)… Not to pass junk info, but I’ve heard the revenue from this reworked Bill actually nets LESS than the current.  WOW.

This tax was promised to sunset.  Legislators have decided promises are worthless.

It is really unclear what impact it would have, long or short term, but I’ll venture a guess it’s not positive for WA Brewers.  Many foreign breweries can factor their drastically lower taxation into expanding markets into WA, while we suffer the boot on our throats.  Let’s say we have to increase our keg prices significantly enough to survive, yet the purchaser has a choice of lower priced Oregon beer;  Who’s beer will get the tap?  Will our markets remain loyal regardless the loss of their profits?  Doubtful.

This whole thing smells of lobbyists.

The state has been mandated to increase Education Funding.  Okay, so why not dig deep into Olympia’s ledger, and find where the fat is.  Not difficult, I’m certain.  Cut non-essential’s, and offset with a broader based revenue stream, not isolated industries that are burgeoning employers, spending earnings in our communities.

Every year I have been able to vote, and that’s well over 20 years, there’s been a “Vote for Schools”.  Every year it passes, yet we still have problems funding education…???  Teacher’s salaries are not rising commensurate with CPI plus inflation; Programs are being slashed and eliminated; Classrooms remain crowded; Standardized testing has usurped individual development.  WHERE’S THE DAMN $$$ GONE?

Okay, I’m getting a little heated, but having been involved in politics, I know the unintended consequences of brash legislation and partisan politics, are the bane of government.  Common sense and scientific theory be damned.

I need a beer… and maybe anger management.
Rich Nesheim GM – Triplehorn Brewing Co