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June 6, 2012 at 5:37 PM

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State lawmaker says stores should list full cost of liquor

State Rep. Gerry Pollet, D-Seattle, says private retailers aren't doing enough to prevent sticker shock among consumers under Washington's new liquor-privatization law.

And if stores don't disclose the full, final prices to consumers in ads and on display shelves -- just as the state's liquor stores did before privatization -- he'll introduce legislation next year requiring them to do so.

Many consumers have complained of sticker shock at checkout for liquor since privatization took effect last Friday. Unlike the old state liquor stores, private retailers are advertising pre-tax prices.

But because taxes are much higher for liquor than for other merchandise, the difference has led to widespread confusion in the past several days.

Washington charges a 20.5 percent spirits sales tax plus a $3.77 spirits liter tax ($2.83 for a 750-milliliter bottle and $6.60 for 1.75 liters).

"The public shouldn't have to bring a calculator to know the final price and comparison shop for liquor under our new law," Pollet said in a statement.

Voters last fall approved Initiative 1183, ending the state's 78-year control of liquor sales in Washington.

Most Popular Comments
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I'm fine with providing MORE information to consumers, but not less. The old system... MORE
Hmm, my brilliant formula was stripped out of my post. My proposal for an acceptable... MORE
The level of taxation on liquor in the State of Washington is truly outrageous. ... MORE

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