I was amazed this long Memorial Day weekened at the droves of people running to the liquor stores, wharehouse stores, and retail giants to stock up on beer. At first I thought it was the mad rush before a long weekend of grilling and drunken debauchery that is usually associated with Memorial Day weekend. However, to my surprise most people were running to the beer stores to stock up on their favorite household staples before the “Sin Tax” that has officially taken place today June 1, 2010 in Washington State. Everywhere I went I saw beer, candy and cigarettes flying off the shelves.
The State of Washington has implemented a 6.5 percent sales tax law on candy, alcohol, cigarettes and yes the sins of all sins, bottled water. Other than microsobrews which are exempt from the new state sales tax rate in Washington to help boost local business, a six-pack of beer will be about 28 cents more than last month. Definately worth the excursion to Walmart to save 28 cents!?!
Candy now will cost you another dime that is of course if you don’t buy a Twix which because of the flour content is actually considred a food item and is therefore sales tax exempt. And the price of a case of bottled water will climb a whopping 26 cents. In a down economy with inflation returning to more normal levels, why the increases?
Washington State lawmakers suggest that the increases in sales tax will help pull the state out of it’s massive $3 billion budget deficit and they are not done with the “sin tax” increases yet. Expect a sales tax increase On July 1 for soda and the state’s beverage association is collecting signatures to let voters decide if sales taxes should continue. For now, expect to spend a few more cents on your sinful Avian Water, devilish Coors Light, and Satanic Snickers until 2013.