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Icicle Brewing Company Worried About Proposed Beer Tax

April 16, 2013

 

Washington’s microbreweries may soon be hit with the largest tax

increase the industry has ever seen. As part of the 2013-2015 budget, Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed closing

tax loopholes for everything from real estate rentals to pharmaceutical warehouses and farm auctions. Some

industries, including travel agencies and assisted living facilities, would see business-and-occupation rates

double.

But

almost every Washington brewery would see taxes more than quadruple for the beer they sell in the state. Brewers

say that is an unfair burden to ask one small industry to bear, and that it will encourage brewers to sell more of

their beer in neighboring states where taxes are significantly lower.

Last week House Democrats introduced their own budget

proposal, which would also increase taxes for small breweries — although not by as much as the governor

— while lowering the rate large breweries pay. The budget proposed by the senate does not include tax

increases for small breweries.

The issue is still a very active

one, and local brewers Pam and Oliver Brulotte are watching the debate closely. The Brulotte’s own

Leavenworth’s Icicle Brewing Company, and they say the Governor’s proposal could hit their fledgling

business hard.