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. Making for one of the more progressive and highest beer taxes in the country. So I asked the brewers/breweries the following question and below are there answers. I got an overwhelming response. 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. Was hoping you could tell me how you feel this proposal would affect your brewery.
Iron Horse Brewery –
In summary to your question, we don’t know how it will affect our brewery, but one can be certain it will not be positive and there are a whole host of negative outcomes possible. What I can be sure of is that the consumer will be paying more for Washington Craft Beer. I also know, that we will be upsetting the environment that has fostered tremendous growth in small businesses, jobs and community-minded organizations that we know as Washington Craft Breweries. A specific change that I can reference is the amount of tax liability assigned to Iron Horse Brewery. Last year that number was about $28,690 in beer excise taxes (excise; pay whether you are profitable or not) under the governors proposal that number would be $122,000. We could hire a few people for that amount and the house proposal would have put us at $56,600 last year in tax liability which is an increase equal to much more than the annual wages at Washington’s minimum wage.
These proposals are incredible in their apparent prioritization of multi-national and out of state breweries over Washington breweries. The government needs revenue, so they propose to give a whole bunch of revenue back to the largest of breweries, who employ nearly no one in the state, then transfer that burden on to small in-state breweries who only employ people in this state. what sense does that make?
Our position is – This is too much risk to a thriving industry to put a mere drop in the revenue bucket
Thanks, Greg Parker – Iron Horse Brewery