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Published on Monday, February 4, 2013

Bill to reinstate local liquor revenue to be heard this week

This week, the House Local Government Committee will hear HB 1368, our bill to reinstate the $10 million of city/county liquor taxes diverted last session and restore the growth in profits. A Senate version has yet to be introduced. Be aware that, having taken these parts of our revenue back in the last session, many may now consider them part of the state’s base budget and will be reluctant to provide them back.

We’ve prepared an updated list of cities showing expected distributions and what’s at stake if cuts are made. Please talk, and talk again, with your legislators – urge them to retain this single-most important shared revenue. Budget writers are looking under every rock for funds to support the state budget.

Our concerns are similar with proposals to sweep job-creating and infrastructure building funds like those available in the Public Works Trust and Model Toxics Control Act funds. Our challenges on this front differ from our challenges with city liquor revenue in that we are working with a broad coalition of business, environmental, and other public entities to protect the capital fund programs, whereas it’s pretty much cities acting alone to protect liquor funds. We are supported by groups with a stake in city budgets such as fire, police, and other employee groups who understand the risks they face should your liquor funds be reduced. We can do our part in Olympia, and you can help enormously by maintaining the dialogue with your legislators from home.