Spin Control

Liquor sales up in July

OLYMPIA -- After dropping during the first month of private liquor sales, the amount of liquor sold and the taxes the state got for it went up in July.

The state Revenue Department said sales were up about 15 percent this July compared with July 2011, and sales for the second quarter of this year are up about 11 percent over last.

Liquor sales took a big jump in May as the deadline imposed by Initiative 1183 for switching from the state monopoly to private sales approached. Bars and restaurants in particular stocked up against the coming change.

Sales dropped about 9 percent in June, the first month the law  took effect, compared to the previous June.

In all, Washington consumers bought 10.6 million liters of spirits for the second quarter, an increase of about 1.2 million liters. (For folks who don't do "metric", that's about 2.8 million gallons total and an increase of about 317,000 gallons.)

The state also collected $68 million in taxes and fees on liquor, an increase of about 15 percent. Prices were higher in July than in pre I-1183 days, but they did come down sligthly from June.

It's too soon to tell what kind of trend we're developing, the Revenue Department said.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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