voters kick Washington state out of the liquor business

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#1
About fucking time.

Voters kick state out of liquor business

Next June, consumers in Washington state will be able to buy hard liquor at grocery and warehouse stores, including Costco.

Beginning June 1, grocery stores in Washington will begin selling liquor.
That's the result of a $22.7 million voter campaign that Costco Wholesale led to kick the state out of the liquor business and allow private retailers to sell spirits instead.
Of the ballots tallied Tuesday night, about 60 percent favored Initiative 1183.
Beginning next June, liquor sales will shift from the state to grocery and warehouse stores, including Costco. It means more than 900 state employees will lose their jobs, most of them workers at state-run liquor stores.
The state budgeting office figures the number of outlets selling liquor will jump from 328 to 1,428. It also expects the change to generate an average of $80 million more in annual revenue for the state and local governments over the next six years.
Some liquor prices are expected to drop, although not as low as in California, because Washington will keep its high liquor taxes.
The campaign was a battle of corporate interests, with Costco contributing the vast majority of the money for the pro-1183 campaign.
"We are very pleased and grateful to all of the coalition members across the state," said Joel Benoliel, Costco's chief legal officer.
The coalition against I-1183 was financed mostly by wine and liquor distributors, who fear that liquor and wine deregulation in the measure will spread to other states.
Early on, the No campaign focused on the safety implications of the measure and was winning in phone surveys. Its lead diminished as the campaign turned to speculation about how many gas stations and minimarts might sell liquor, and to Costco.
In a statement, the opposition coalition said it remains concerned about the public-safety consequences and hopes the measure's supporters will make good on promises of extra revenue for law enforcement.
Distributors particularly dislike that I-1183 allows retailers to buy liquor directly from distilleries. Since Prohibition ended, states have required retailers to go through distributors for liquor, and experts say Washington now might be the only state to tear down that law.
Small wineries, craft distilleries and neighborhood grocery-store owners also worry about how they will compete in a market that favors large players. I-1183 allows stores measuring at least 10,000 square feet to sell liquor, and makes it legal for retailers to get volume discounts on liquor and wine, and to warehouse those products themselves rather than using distributors.
Issaquah-based Costco donated $22.5 million to the campaign for I-1183, making it the largest single donor to a voter initiative in state history. Only $18.5 million was spent, and campaign leaders said the $4 million difference will be returned, presumably to Costco.
I-1183 was a scaled-back version of a voter measure Costco backed in the 2010 election, which voters resoundingly rejected. That measure would have allowed minimarts and gas stations to sell liquor, deregulated beer distribution and meant lost revenues for the state and local governments — all issues Costco revised in I-1183.
In the coming weeks and months, the state Liquor Control Board will wind down its liquor business, including selling its inventory and Seattle distribution center, and auctioning off state-run liquor stores.
About half of the 328 stores that sell liquor in Washington are state-run, and they will stop selling liquor by June 1. The other half are owned by contractors, who can continue operating but must buy the existing inventory from the state. That averages $125,000, and some say they cannot afford it.
Meanwhile, the liquor board will begin issuing licenses to qualified liquor distributors and retailers, and on June 1 privately owned stores will begin selling liquor in Washington.
Tom Geiger, communication director for the union representing more than 700 workers in state-run liquor stores, said he thought the results raised questions about democracy itself.
"If a private company decides to spend tens of millions of dollars to pass a new law, to buy an election, can they do it?" Geiger asked. The results in this case, he said, suggest they can.
 

Buster H

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i wish PA would follow suit. It's amazing all the people that come out of the woodwork to defend this shit. Fuscking state police said it would lead to more DUIs. Still don't see the logic in that one.
 

Begbie

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Jul 21, 2003
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And I wish NC would follow suit. We can buy beer and wine in grocery stores, but liquor can only be found at the state-controlled ABC stores. All of the stores have that really bland look to them...no advertisements allowed, the buildings are brick with mostly no windows, and all the prices are usually jacked way up. It's bullshit. They do everything to make the stores as unattractive and bland as possible. Doesn't prevent my 4-year old get drawn to the ABC logo and think they sell alphabet letters in there.
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#4
They tried to sell all the Provincial Liquor stores in Ontario... well until people saw how much money it made.

For some odd reason wine is cheaper in the Ontario stores then it is in NH... well more premiums brands anyway.
 

whiskeyguy

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#5
i wish PA would follow suit. It's amazing all the people that come out of the woodwork to defend this shit. Fuscking state police said it would lead to more DUIs. Still don't see the logic in that one.
It's probably the opposite... Instead of walking to the shell station at the end of the block, you have to drive around for an hour to find a state liquor store. Oregon has this bullshit also and it's annoying. That's one thing California does right.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#6
Not to mention the cost. Washington jacks the prices up since they have no competition. Add that to some of the higher liquor taxes in the country...

My only concern now is the availability of certain brands. On the flip side, a couple brands I enjoyed I can't get unless I buy it by the case because the state struck them from the buy list.
 

Buster H

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It's probably the opposite... Instead of walking to the shell station at the end of the block, you have to drive around for an hour to find a state liquor store. Oregon has this bullshit also and it's annoying. That's one thing California does right.
It's been about 5 years sine I have been to CA, but I remember it being pretty good. You still have to go to a liquor store(privately owned) for the hard stuff right?

Of all the states I have ever been in, NM is the best. You can stop at the exxon station, fill yer tank, grab a 6 pack and a pint of jack. I still remember the first time I walked into a Save-On drug store and saw the hard liquor aisle.
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#8
Might still run into those weird blue laws... when I went to a town outside of Chicago went into a drug store to buy some booze at 9 pm... the area was roped off... had to go across the street to the next town to get it.

There are still a few parts of Toronto that are dry... as back in ye oldern days those areas were settled by Quakers and even with the amalgamation of the little villages/towns into Toronto the blue laws stayed in effect.
 

THRILLHO

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Apr 5, 2009
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#9
I'm not much of hard alcohol drinker, but it's nice to see less government involvement in something. Sucks for the 900 people who will be out of a job I guess.
 

the Streif

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#10
It's been about 5 years sine I have been to CA, but I remember it being pretty good. You still have to go to a liquor store(privately owned) for the hard stuff right?

Of all the states I have ever been in, NM is the best. You can stop at the exxon station, fill yer tank, grab a 6 pack and a pint of jack.
In Ohio we have drive-through beer and wine shops. You don't even have to get out of your car. I don't remember if they sell hard stuff or not but you can get beer, wine, pizza, snacks and stuff and never leave your car.
 

Hoffman

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Sep 28, 2006
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#11
The state ABC system here in Virginia actually works fairly well. Prices aren't all that bad and there's been talk of putting more of the money towards state education programs. I don't mind buying a few more bottles of Glenlivet a month if its going to a good cause.
 

Buster H

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The state ABC system here in Virginia actually works fairly well. Prices aren't all that bad and there's been talk of putting more of the money towards state education programs. I don't mind buying a few more bottles of Glenlivet a month if its going to a good cause.
I do.... that's what regular taxes are for. It's the same with them adding taxes on cigarettes with the excuse that it costs more in state funded healthcare... well, when you raise the tax on cigarettes, does all the money go to offset those extra costs? NOPE, it goes to the politicians pet projects. Fuck that
 

bb1mobile

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Jul 10, 2007
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#13
Pa's the worst. The LCB is a bloated piece of shit.
Lucky for me I live 5 miles from Delaware.
Cheaper beer and booze and no sales tax.
 

The Godfather

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May 9, 2007
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The state ABC system here in Virginia actually works fairly well. Prices aren't all that bad and there's been talk of putting more of the money towards state education programs. I don't mind buying a few more bottles of Glenlivet a month if its going to a good cause.
You seem more like a Jim Beam kind of character.
 

The Godfather

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May 9, 2007
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#17
Nope. Glenlivet, Jack and coke in the winter and Gin and Tonic or Gin Fiz's in the summer.
What kind of generic $6 a gallon Gin do you drink? (drop some names for us)

LuLz 4 Life!
 

Motor Head

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#18
Kum & GO - I have one about a mile from my house, I can get some beef jerky and a bottle of Jack Daniels from 6AM to 1AM, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
 

Buster H

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Nope. Glenlivet, Jack and coke in the winter and Gin and Tonic or Gin Fiz's in the summer.
mmmm Glenlivet. I've been doing a bunch of trips back and forth to Montreal. The duty free on the way home has it for a very reasonable price.

Glenlivet 12yr 1000ml-$32
Glenlivet 18yr 750ml- $50-55

I usually pick up one of each per trip
 

The Godfather

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May 9, 2007
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mmmm Glenlivet. I've been doing a bunch of trips back and forth to Montreal. The duty free on the way home has it for a very reasonable price.

Glenlivet 12yr 1000ml-$32
Glenlivet 18yr 750ml- $50-55

I usually pick up one of each per trip
how many can you bring back before it's illegal to not pay?
 

Buster H

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#22
how many can you bring back before it's illegal to not pay?
according to this page :
Personal Allowances for Americans Returning to the US after Less than 48 Hrs:

After a stay of less than 48 hours in Canada, a U.S. citizen or resident may return to the U.S. with:
  • US$200 worth of goods per person, tax and duty free
  • 150 ml (5 oz) alcohol and 10 cigars (non Cuban)
  • Any purchases in excess of the US$200 allowance may be subject to duties and taxes.
  • US citizens may buy these amounts daily.

Personal Allowances for Americans Returning to the US after More than 48 Hrs:

After a stay of 48 hours or more in Canada, a U.S. citizen or resident may return to the U.S. with:
  • US$800 worth of goods per person, tax and duty free
  • Purchases may include 1 liter of alcohol, 200 cigarettes (1 carton), and 100 cigars.
  • Family members may combine their tax and duty allowances.
  • Any purchases in excess of the US$800 allowance may be subject to duties and taxes.
  • US citizens may buy these amounts once a month.

Duties & Taxes Charged for Exceeding Personal Allowances:

If you exceed your duty free allowances and exemptions entering the U.S. the following approximate US duty and tax rates may apply.
  • US $2 - $3 per bottle of liquor*
  • US $1.30 per case of beer*
  • US $3.90 per carton of cigarettes*
    *US duty rates on purchases exceeding 1 liter of alcohol are assessed according to alcohol content.

Best Buys at Duty Free Shops in Canada:


  • Liquor, including spirits, wine and beer, in Canada is significantly more expensive than in the United States, so Americans going to Canada for a visit may want to stop at duty free for liquor that they will consume while in Canada.

    For example, 40 oz of spirit is as low as US$17. The same bottle would be more than double that price if bought in Canada.
I guess I need to look at the receipt better. Looks like I get hit for $2-3 for the 2nd bottle. Still a good deal. Not sure if it would be cool to empty them out by buying $800 worth though ;)
 

Hoffman

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#23
mmmm Glenlivet. I've been doing a bunch of trips back and forth to Montreal. The duty free on the way home has it for a very reasonable price.

Glenlivet 12yr 1000ml-$32
Glenlivet 18yr 750ml- $50-55

I usually pick up one of each per trip
How much for a bottle of 25 year?
 

Buster H

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Dec 6, 2004
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#24
How much for a bottle of 25 year?
I forget. I'm going up next week and will be comign back on Friday. PM me your number if you want me to let you know

another example is Johnny Blue. $150ish


oh, and not that it matters too much right now because their dollar is almost even with us, these numbers are all in Canadian dollars.



Side note: the duty free coming back from Toronto is a total ripoff. I guess since it is so close to Niagra, they hit you with tourist trap prices. One month after my first trip to Montreal, I hit the one near Toronto and the bottle of Johnny Blue was $30 more. One month later, I went back through Montreal one and the prices there had stayed the same
 
Jun 2, 2005
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Dallas
#25
It's been about 5 years sine I have been to CA, but I remember it being pretty good. You still have to go to a liquor store(privately owned) for the hard stuff right?
Nope. In California you can buy liquor at a gas station. Last time we were there we picked up a bunch of stuff at the CVS. (or maybe Walgreens? One of the two)