SEATTLE — Protect Our Communities, the campaign urging voters to reject (again) Initiative 1183, the latest corporate-sponsored initiative to deregulate and privatize liquor sales in Washington state, has released a TV ad that features a Longview restaurant owner talking about the 27% tax increases contained in I-1183. It’s an ad that Costco, which has pumped more than $13 million into promoting I-1183, doesn’t want you to be able to see.
“As a small restaurant owner, I looked into the facts of Initiative 1183, and I don’t like what I see,” says Alice Dietz of Longview. “The big corporations behind 1183 say it increases funding for government programs. But they don’t pay for it out of their corporate profits. Instead, you and I pay with a brand new 27 percent tax. In this economy, I’m just trying to keep my doors open for my employees and my customers. The last thing we need is higher taxes. I’m voting NO on 1183”
The “Yes on 1183” campaign — funded by nearly $11 million in contributions from Costco alone — objected to local television stations and demanded that the ad be taken off the air. Why? They say I-1183 hits consumers and businesses with government fees of 27%, not “taxes.” In other words, they want to avoid any discussion about what I-1183 costs.
Tax may be a dirty word to the “Yes on 1183” campaign, but they are claiming their measure will raise millions of dollars for local government. When the government takes your money, people understand that’s a tax. And these taxes are clearly “brand new” – they don’t exist now and would be imposed by the initiative’s Section 103 and 105.
Will consumers feel the hit? The Office of Financial Management says these costs “will be passed on to the consumer in the private market markup.” In fact, OFM determined the markup will rise sharply under I-1183, from the current state markup of 51.9% to up to 72%.
See the rest of the No on I-1183 ads here.
Delegates representing the more than 500 union organizations that comprise the Washington State Labor Council voted to oppose I-1183. Click here for more information.
Also see Brendan Williams’ column — 99% will pay price for I-1182 liquor privatization.