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Posts tagged: Costco Wholesale

The Supreme Court barely approves state’s new liquor privatization law (with links)

So you may have heard the Washington State Supreme Court ruled Thursday (May 31) in a 5 to 4 opinion, that the privatization of liquor sales was legal.

Read the key opinion at this link. There is of course a dissenting view, which can be read here.

The dissent, authored by Justice Stephen Warning, includes this summary:

   An initiative can impose new taxes, but the ballot title cannot misleadingly imply that it does not.  Likewise, earmarking a portion of the new tax revenue for public safety is not inherently problematic, but  (the Constitution's) article II, section 19 precludes combining a substantive liquor privatization law with an earmark that has no rational relation to liquor privatization and may have been included only  to win votes.   We respectfully dissent.

Here's the majority opinion summary of the changes that I-1183 makes in the distribution of revenue for local governments, as well as the small changes pertaining to advertising:

The initiative additionally secures the current distribution of liquor revenues to local governments and dedicate[s] a portion of the new revenues raised from liquor license fees to increase funding for local public safety programs, including police, fire, and emergency services in communities throughout the state.  The additional portion is “$10 million per year from the spirits license fees [to] be provided to border areas, counties, cities, and towns through the liquor revolving fund for the purpose of enhancing public safety programs.”   

       I-1183 also modified the law pertaining to liquor advertising.  The initiative removed a provision that prohibited the Liquor Control Board from advertising liquor but maintained the LCB's “power to adopt any and all reasonable rules as to the kind, character, and location of advertising of liquor.”   I-1183 also added that the LCB is prohibited from restricting the “advertising of lawful prices.”

 

One sure thing: I-1183 will create about 200 Eastern Washington distribution jobs

So the Initiative 1183 attacks can begin. Starting Friday, people who voted for the privatization of liquor sales in Washington can claim they opposed it along. Sure, now they can say, “I knew it would lead to higher prices.”

On Friday those prices become available. Today's SR story showed two things: most liquor choices will cost more than in the state system; and a lot of people are not sure how the prices will shake out, after the initial first few months of marketing and hype.

On the retail side, the initiative means higher operating costs and no reason to add jobs. But on the wholesale side, there's clearly a job boom. The big liquor distributors for the state are now Southern Wine & Spirits and Young’s Market Company.

Both have Eastern Washington offices. Combined, the two distributors are expected to add about 210 workers in Eastern Washington for delivery, sales and warehousing. That number comes from John Guadnola, executive director of the Washington Beer and Wine Distributors Association.

Costco offering tickets to the Super Bowl, costing about $3K, on its website

Costco spent bundles last year getting state voters to change the way liquor is sold in Washington.

Now it's trying to make back some of the money by selling Super Bowl tickets.

We spotted an item saying tickets to the big game are on sale at Costco.com, priced at $2,999.99. That price includes a pre-game funciton with Archie Manning, dad of NY Giants QB Eli Manning.

In addition, Costco was selling two-ticket packages at $9,999.99 and $15,499.99 that include four nights at a luxurious Indianapolis hotel, admission to a pregame party and admisision to a wine and food event.

Those package tickets are sold out, as of Wednesday, 9 a.m., Feb. 1.

The $2,999 tickets apparently are still available.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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