Washington state’s monopoly on liquor sales is facing a pallet-full of trouble. Retailer’s have long bemoaned the state’s liquor laws that preclude anyone but government run stores from selling, but none have battled to change it like the Seattle, Wash. based warehouse store Costco.
Having seen from its wine and beer sales that people like their beverages in bulk, Costco has been clamoring for the past couple years to get in on the liquor trade. Liquor-liking consumers would be happy with the pricing competition a store like Costco would instigate and, ostensibly, state residents would no longer be left dry on Sundays; or pulling their hair out when work runs late prior to a party night.
The wholesaler thinks it already has enough signatures to make the state’s November ballot with Initiative 1100. The deadline to have at least 242,000 valid signatures is July 2.
It’s anyone’s guess as to whether some voters’ worries about expanding the availability of liquor will have an impact on Election Day. There’s also the possibility that citizens won’t want to take this revenue stream away from an already cash-strapped state in such a tough economic time. It’s also possible that, with the government running these businesses, they don’t produce much more of a return than the added sales tax revenue would. Voters will now apparently have a chance to voice their opinions in five months time.