Headline reads: "Variety good, taxes aren't" (Tri-City Herald, June 2)
First, "taxes aren't." Washingtonians got what they voted for: privatized liquor sales. Why the sticker shock? Everything's clearly spelled out in Initiative 1183, from tax percentages to fee amounts, even the $150 million bond. There are no new taxes and no state overhead for running a liquor business. It should save money. But your bottle of "Jack" costs more? That's just private licensees having to pass on costs to consumers to make their profits ... profits that used to be tax revenue coming back to municipalities.
Next, "variety good." Prediction: Variety will dwindle as retailers, especially small ones, weigh the cost of inventory versus what sells. Second prediction: There will be a new initiative rolling back liquor taxes and fees (funded again?) by Costco.
So much for high-minded campaign pitches setting aside tax receipts for the local law enforcement needed to combat increased crime linked to liquor availability. Transparency, especially at the checkout counter, reveals voter's blind allegiance to "market forces."
So raise a glass to higher prices, smaller selection and what used to be a revenue stream for your town and its services, now lining the deep pockets of corporate retailers and well-heeled entrepreneurs.
Linda Stairet, Pasco