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?
We may be second behind California in total number of breweries but our local industry, after 31 or so years, is still quite vulnerable due to the number of new and small breweries that have hung out their shingle in recent years.
Enacting the tax language proposed by Governor Inslee rather than letting the current, temporary legislation sunset on June 30, 2013, will stunt the growth and stability of this burgeoning industry and reduce its ability to compete effectively with the macro breweries and their vast resources.
The jobs created by the craft brewing industry, for the most part, are manufacturing jobs. At a time in our state and national histories when economic conditions have been so dreadfully impacted by a loss of manufacturing jobs to overseas suppliers, we need to do everything in our power to encourage in-state and domestic growth in the manufacturing sector. SB 5039 does not support this philosophy and it will most likely result in a reduction of craft brewing jobs, if enacted.
The Governor should shift his focus away from the state’s craft brewing industry until it has the ability to absorb any additional taxes, and look for a more broad-based solution to supporting education. Everyone wants our schools to be topnotch, including those of us in the craft brewing industry. Better educated consumers result in stronger sales for every company that builds or creates great products. Therefore, every economic stakeholder, which means “all of us,” must support education through a broad-based tax initiative. Our legislators must summon the political will and leadership necessary to seek out and develop broad support for our educational system and avoid singling out any one industry or market segment.
John Robertson, Co-Founder
Bellevue Brewing Company