Photo: Flickr / *~Dawn~*
Apparently nothing ticks off Washington tipplers more than having to stop and calculate the tax on their liquor. Several chains in the state are rolling out their own price tags that will bundle the price of booze with tax. “We learned very quickly it’s tricky and difficult for people to figure out,” the VP of Costco, John McKay, told Seattle Times.
It used to be the shelf price was the cash register price, with taxes and fees rolled together. Then Initiative 1183 was passed in June, repealing Prohibition-era monopolies on private spirits.
This was great for booze, but bad for prices: Some bottles ranged from 5 to 17 per cent more than under the state system, reported Seattle PI. Lured by the lower price tag, consumers were getting slapped with a $3.77 per liter tax, plus a 20.5 per cent spirits tax at checkout.
The final prices will take effect in the next two to three months, though Kirkland Signature liquor already shows after-tax prices on its bottles. Safeway, Metropolitan Market, and Total Wine & More are reportedly mulling over changing their liquor labels soon.