Beginning June 1, when large retailers began selling liquor in Washington, most posted signs showing customers how to calculate taxes themselves. It involves adding 20.5 percent for liquor sales tax, plus a liter tax that varies depending on the size of the bottle. In some cases, those taxes can double the initial retail price of the liquor.
John McKay, executive vice president of Costco Wholesale, says his company will add final prices on name-brand liquor products in the next 60 to 90 days – it already displays after-tax prices on private-label Kirkland Signature liquor. Total Wine & More added final prices to shelf tags this week, the Metropolitan Market chain is in the process of doing it, and Safeway is considering it.
The nonprofit Tax Foundation shows Washington’s liquor taxes as the highest in the country in 2010 — roughly $26.45 a gallon, compared to $24.63 in Oregon, $10.96 in Idaho and $3.30 in California. (Seattle Times)