According to a recent report by the Tax Foundation, Washington State has the highest hard spirits taxes in the country, which continues to negatively impact craft spirit makers in the state. As KUOW from Washington reports:
You may want to think twice before you start a business making whiskey in Washington state. That’s because Washington’s liquor taxes are the highest in the country, according to a new report out today by the nonprofit Tax Foundation.
This year the tax rate on whiskey and other liquor in Washington state is $32.50 per gallon. That's 10 times more than in California, where it's $3.30 per gallon.
As master distiller Matt Hoffman at Seattle’s Westland distillery put it, "the difference is huge.”
Wine is taxed at a much lower rate here than liquor. According to the Tax Foundation, Washington's wine tax rate was the 25th in the nation in 2017.
Hoffman said the gap in tax rates is a big problem for local spirit makers like Westland, which hopes to sell to customers in Washington state the way winemakers do.
Oregon and Virginia clocked in at number 2 and 3, respectively, when it came to the highest liquor taxes. Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Missouri had the lowest taxes.