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Published on Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Action Alert: Now's the time to ask Legislators to protect local liquor revenue

The special legislative session began yesterday, and key legislators are back in Olympia trying to reach agreement on a two-year state budget. As negotiations continue, legislators must either make significant cuts to state programs or raise revenue – a combination of both is likely.

Local liquor and other shared revenues are at risk. The Senate-passed budget proposal would further reduce local liquor taxes by 50%, while the House-passed budget proposal did not make any reductions. In addition, the Legislature permanently capped local liquor profits during the 2012 legislative session.

Your legislators again need to hear why liquor revenue is important to your city. Please contact your Senator and Representatives this week and ask them to:

  • Protect against cuts to 2013-2015 liquor revenues.
  • Restore growth in local liquor profits by reinstating the previous revenue sharing formula. Let them know that AWC is crafting legislation to reinstate this growth in a way that has no 2013-2015 fiscal impact on the state.

Also remind them:

  • Like the state, local governments were significantly impacted by the recession and continue to struggle to provide essential services. Cities understand the fiscal challenges facing the state but ask legislators to refrain from additional cuts that would increase local fiscal burdens.
  • Liquor revenues have been shared between the state and cities for nearly 80 years because the impacts of liquor consumption continue to cause behavioral and public safety impacts in cities, and it remains our job to provide police and support services to those impacted.
  • Citizens supported liquor privatization in part because I-1183 promised more, not less, funding to support local public safety. Cities take that job seriously and are seeing increased pressures on law enforcement and the criminal justice system with a privatized liquor system that has quadrupled the number of stores selling liquor.

Please don't hesitate to contact AWC's Victoria Lincoln if you need assistance or have any questions.

Categories: Liquor, State budget