Sunday, August 15, 2010

What are the differences between 1100 and 1105?

Among the key differences:

1. 1100 is pro-consumer. It was started by a grassroots movement and eventually won the backing of Costco, other grocery stores (both small and large), restaurants and family wineries. It would introduce a fair, modern and competitive marketplace with fair prices (lower than in the state stores), innovative products and a broad selection.

1105 is pro-middleman, but expensive for everybody else . Its only backers are two out-of-state wholesalers -- Southern Wine and Spirits of Miami, Florida, the largest liquor distributor in the U.S., and Young's Market of Los Angeles, California. Together they paid more than $2 million to get 1105 on the ballot. Their purpose is to secure a monopoly on liquor sales in Washington State. 1105 would require all sales of alcoholic beverages to pass through these middlemen on the way from the producer (winery, brewery or distiller) to the retailer. Without the legal requirement, producers would often choose to sell to wholesalers, and retailers would often choose to buy from wholesalers anyway. But with 1105 there's no choice. Even when it's more economical for retailers to buy directly from producers, 1105 would require them, under penalty of law, to pay the middleman for services they neither want nor need.

Of course the retailers and restaurants who support 1100 are doing so because it benefits their businesses. But their interests here are aligned with the customers they serve. They win customers only by offering fair prices and good selection -- which is what we'll get with 1100. With 1105 on the other hand, the added costs of carrying the extra middleman would passed on to the consumer. The middleman monopoly would make us all pay more, with no added benefits of any kind.

2. 1100 preserves existing liquor taxes. Liquor prices and state tax revenues are stable and predictable.

1105 repeals all existing liquor taxes, replacing them with what, nobody knows. Its sponsors promise to increase revenue for the state, but 1105 actually wipes out current liquor taxes ($223 million last year). It replaces current taxes only with a mandate that the Liquor Board make a recommendation that the Legislature create a new liquor tax to be higher than the current liquor tax by about $120 million a year (a  55% increase). Nobody knows what the Liquor Board would actually recommend. The Legislature isn't bound by the Liquor Board's recommendation, it can do whatever it wants. We could either end up with a massive tax increase (and much higher product prices), or a gaping hole in the budget, or both. And we wouldn't know which one we'd get until after we voted for 1105. A vote for 1105 is a vote for an unpleasant surprise.

3. 1100 will reduce alcohol abuse and improve public health and safety: Under 1100, all fees from the new liquor licenses must be used for licensing, enforcement and education to reduce abuse and underage drinking. This will increase the enforcement and education budget by 20%.

1105 imposes more enforcement requirements on the Liquor Board, without increasing resources. The Liquor Board will have less time and fewer resources to spend on enforcement and education against abusive and underage drinking. Instead, it will have to spend more time and resources on purely economic regulations, which only protect the wholesalers monopoly, with NO benefits to public health and safety.

Read the texts of both initiatives and confirm for yourself -- I-1100 and I-1105

and Vive la Difference!


  1. Actually, they are both foisted on us by special interests...just different interests. The fact that there are two initiatives--each polishing their own interests--proves neither watches out for my interests: a Washington drinker who doesn't want my services cut or taxes raised.

  2. I would support 1100 over 1105, but only if that meant the creation of private liquor stores and keeping hard liquor out of grocery retailers. if suddenly your Safeway, Albertsons and such can sell hard liquor, what food items will be sacraficed for shelf space? In the grocery Biz, the items that sell and make a profit for the retail get the shelf space.

  3. Seriously... you're worried about shelf space for food in grocery stores??!?!?

    Do you believe that if this passes you could walk into a grocery store and not be able to find food? Even if you did managed to find a store like this, you are free to take your business elsewhere.

    I'm shocked that someone could write this...

  4. If the government was interested in keeping us healthy...they'd make liquor and cigarettes illegal....however....the tax revenue is enormous...and they love them some liquor drinkers and cig smokers. Its illegal to do a lot of on your cell in the car.....not put your seat belt on....not have your child in an appropriate carrier in the car. As long as we drink and smoke....Washington State 'claims' they give the regulated tax dollars to me where? Go ahead and sell booze in the grocery stores....we already sell wine and beer there...sheesh!

  5. These both have flaws, but I'm leaning yes on 1100 and no on 1105.

    1100 takes the government out of owning a market. Where in the world did they get the authority? I personally don't drink, but I support the privatization of all markets.

    1105 seems to just swap regulations that benefit the state to those that benefit the few.

    I'm still digging. I ought to be able to buy a bottle from Jack Daniels himself if I want to. Who's business is it?

  6. I lived in Arizona for MANY years. Arizona state has no liquor control board, and DON'T NEED ONE! Down sides= Big company taking out small company, drive thru liquor / tobacco stores (BIG DEAL), I'm personally tired of our shitty Gov. getting involved, taxing, spending, war! When I was in AZ it was nice to go to the Beverage House (A Business possibility in WA that has not been there before / New Jobs!) You could buy certain (NOT ALL) liquor from COSTCO, 7-11, AM/PM, ect... WA state needs to cut costs and this is one of the MANY ways to do it. Other states do just fine without a liquor control board. I want to buy what I want where I want. Thank You!