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How sweet it is…probably has nothing to do with the tax

OLYMPIA -- Tax protestors with a sweet tooth rejoice. You may have plenty of sweet treats to enjoy without paying a sales tax.

You may have to commit your favorite "tax-exempt" sweets to memory, though. Unless you know the ingredients, you may have trouble figuring what's on or off the state Department of Revenue's list of taxable candies. The department's preliminary list is just out, and in each of the following pairs of items, one is taxable and one is exempt. Can  you guess which is which between:

Good and Plenty or Mike and Ike..

Milky Way bars or 3 Musketeers bars.

Kit-Kat bars or Hershey bars.

In each of the above pairings, the first one is exempt and the second taxable. The main difference is the use of flour in the creation of those treats, Mike Gowrylow,  a Department of Revenue spokesman said: Those that use flour aren't candy under the law.

Many of the "not candy" items on the department's exempt list are licorice: black or red, bits, nibbles, whips or sticks. Apparently, licorice is made with flour.

So if you always thought of that box of pink and white "Good and Plenty" as candy when you bought it at the concession stand when you were a kid attending a matinee, turns out you were wrong. And while most jelly beans are candy, and taxable, the licorice flavored assortment of Jelly Belly's is exempt.

The department has posted a list of some 3,000 sweets and their tax status. It can be found here. 

The list is preliminary, Gowrylow said "We're going to try to refine it through the rest of this month.

For a list of the currently exempt treats, go inside the blog


100 Calorie Pack Twix
100 Calorie Reese's Wafers Box
100 Grand
Black Licorice Twists
Black Twists
Brownie Bits, Milk Chocolate
Caramel Cream Trays
Caramel Creams
Chocolate Bar, Milk Wafer
Chocolate Covered Licorice
Chocolate Covered Strawberry
Chocolate Creams
Chocolate Gourmet Mints Box
Chocolate Pretzels Gift Box, Dark
Chocolate Pretzels Gift Box, Milk
Chocolate Pretzels Gift Box, White
Chocolate Smothered Pretzels
Coffee Crisp
Cookie Dough Bites, Dk Choc Chips 
Cookie Dough Bites, Fudge Brownie 
Cookie Dough Bites, Mk Choc Chips 
Cookie Dough Bites, Peanut Butter 
Cookie, Chocolate By Oreo, Dark
Cookie, Chocolate By Oreo, Milk
Cookies 'N' Cream Bar
Cookies, Crushed Sandwich
Cowtales, Chocolate
Cowtales, Original
Cowtales, Strawberry
Crisped Rice Pop, Decorated
Crunch Bar White Chocolate
Crunch Crisp
Crunch Stixx, Butterfinger
Dark Choc Graham Crackers
Dark Chocolate Pretzels
Dolcetto Wafer Tins Cappuccino
Dolcetto Wafer Tins Chocolate
Dolcetto Wafer Tins Tiramisu
Double Salt
Ferrero Rocher
Finska Licorice
Finska Strawberry
Fruity Pasta
Goetze Bull's Eye 
Goetze Cowtales 
Good & Plenty
Good & Plenty (Pink & White)
Good 'n Plenty
Graham Cracker, Dark
Graham Cracker, Milk
Isle of Skye (Dark/Milk w/Crispy Puffed Grains)
Jelly Belly Classic Licorice Gift Box
Joys, Pretzel White
Joys, Pretzel, Milk
Juicy Twists, Black
Juicy Twists, Blue Raspberry
Juicy Twists, Cherry (West Coast Red)
Juicy Twists, Chocolate
Juicy Twists, Grape
Juicy Twists, Green Apple
Juicy Twists, Orange
Juicy Twists, Peach
Juicy Twists, Pina Colada
Juicy Twists, Red Raspberry
Juicy Twists, Root Beer
Juicy Twists, Spicy Cinnamon
Juicy Twists, Strawberry Red
Juicy Twists, Watermelon
Kit Kat
Lemon Blueberry Shortbread
Licorice Allsorts
Licorice Bears 
Licorice Beehive Honey
Licorice Bridge Mix
Licorice Buttons
Licorice Buttons
Licorice Finnska Organic
Licorice Finnska Soft
Licorice Herbal
Licorice Honey Drop
Licorice Ice
Licorice Laces, Black
Licorice Laces, Red
Licorice Mix
Licorice Money Salt
Licorice Pastels
Licorice Pastels
Licorice Pipes
Licorice Pipes, Black
Licorice Ribbles Salt
Licorice Sea Salt
Licorice Snaps
Licorice Soft Drops
Licorice Sticks, Chocolate
Licorice Sticks, Green Apple
Licorice Sticks, Red Raspberry
Licorice Sticks, Watermelon
Licorice Sweet Buttons
Licorice Wheels
Licorice Wheels, Black
Licorice Wheels, Red
Licorice Whips
Licorice, Black
Licorice, Dark Chocolate Covered Licorice
Licorice, Milk Chocolate Covered Strawberry
Licorice, Raspberry
Licorice, Red
Liquorice Allsorts
Liquorice Nuggets, Black
Liquorice Nuggets, Strawberry
Look Bars
Maltballs, Carob
Maltballs, Dark Chocolate Expresso
Maltballs, Milk Chocolate
Maltballs, Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter
Maltballs, Yogurt
Manner Apricot Wafers
Manner Chocolate Wafers
Manner Hazelnut Wafers
Manner Lemon Wafers
Manner Mignon Dark Hazelnut Wafers
Manner Vanilla Wafers
Marshmallow Yum Yum Cones
Marshmallow Yum Yum Cones in Barrel
Milk Choc Oreo Cookies
Milk Choc Pretzels
Milk ChocGraham Crackers
Mini Cow Tales
Nestle Crunch Caramel
Nestle Crunch Fun Size
Nestle Crunch Heart Singles
Nestle Crunch, Crushed
Nestle's Crunch
No Sugar Added Maltballs
Original Red Twist
Panda Licorice Bar
Panda Licorice Chews
Panda Raspberry Chews
Peanut Butter Pretzel Twist
Peanut Butter with Crispies
Peppermint Bark Shortbread
Petits Dessert Truffle Cake
Pineapple Licorice
Pink Strawberry Twist Tray
Pontefract Cakes
Pretzel Flipz Chocolate Swirl
Pretzel Flipz Strawberry Swirl
Pretzel Rod with Multi Seeds, Milk
Pretzel, Dark
Pretzel, Gourmet with Multi Seeds, Milk
Pretzel, Gourmet with Toffee, Milk
Pretzel, Milk
Pretzel, Small Pretzels
Pretzel, White
Pretzels, Gourmet with Jimmies, Milk
Pretzels, Milk Chocolate
Pretzels, Yogurt
Red Whips
Reese's Sticks
Rips Theater Box
Salmiak Rock Drops
S'mores, Chocolate, Milk
Snickers Marathon Energy Bar Multi Grain Crunch
Sour Power Belts, Berry Blue
Sour Power Belts, Green Apple
Sour Power Belts, Green Apple Tubs
Sour Power Belts, Ind. Wrapped, Blue Raspberry
Sour Power Belts, Ind. Wrapped, Green Apple
Sour Power Belts, Ind. Wrapped, Strawberry
Sour Power Belts, Ind. Wrapped, Watermelon
Sour Power Belts, Quattro, Indiv.Wrpd
Sour Power Belts, Rainbow
Sour Power Belts, Raspberry-Cherry
Sour Power Belts, Strawberry
Sour Power Belts, Strawberry Tubs
Sour Power Belts, Strawberry-Banana
Sour Power Belts, Watermelon
Sour Power Belts, Watermelon Tubs
Sour Power Straws, Green Apple
Sour Power Straws, Strawberry
Sour Power Straws, Watermelon
Sour Punch Ropes, Cherry
Sour Punch Ropes, Strawberry
Sour Punch Sip n Chew Apple
Sour Punch Sip n Chew Cherry
Sour Punch Straws
Sour Punch Straws, Apple
Sour Punch Straws, Apple, Large
Sour Punch Straws, Blue Raspberry
Sour Punch Straws, Cherry
Sour Punch Straws, Green Apple
Sour Punch Straws, Strawberry
Sour Punch Straws, Strawberry, Large
Sour Punch Straws, Watermelon
Sour Punch Straws, Watermelon, Large
Sour Punch Twist
Sour S'ghetti
Sugar Free Licorice Bites, Black
Sugar Free Licorice Bites, Red
Sugar Free Licorice Vines, Black
Sugar Free Licorice Vines, Strawberry
Sugar Free Pretzel Flipz Milk
Sugar Free Pretzel, Milk
Sugar Free, Black Licorice Sticks
Sugar Free, Red Licorice Sticks
Super Juicy Twist Sour Apple
Super Juicy Twist Sour Bitter Berry
Super Juicy Twist Sour Green Apple
Super Juicy Twist Sour Watermelon
Super Ropes
Take Five
Tangy Zangy Sour Belts, Bl Rasp
Tangy Zangy Sour Belts, Green Apple
Tangy Zangy Sour Belts, Strawberry
Touch of Italy
Tubi's Tire Tread Licorice Bag, Black
Tubi's Tire Tread Licorice Bag, Red
Tubi's Tire Tread Licorice Bar, Black
Twisty Punch Bites, Black
Twisty Punch Bites, Raspberry (Orig. Red Vine Flavor)
Twisty Punch Bites, Strawberry
Twisty Punch Licorice
Twisty Punch Strawberry
TWIX Caramel Cookie Bars
TWIX Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
Twizzler, Rainbow Twist
Twizzler, Sourz
Twizzler, Twerpz
Twizzlers Cherry Bites King Size
Twizzlers Rainbow Twists
Twizzlers Strawberry Twist
Whoppers Peanut Butter
Whoppers Strawberry Milkshake
Wiley Wallaby Gourmet Black
Wiley Wallaby Gourmet Green Apple
Wiley Wallaby Gourmet Red
Wiley Wallaby Gourmet Watermelon
Wonka Bars

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