Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
01.11.2012  
 

Olympia Tries to Cut Wine Red Tape

In wake of Prop. 1183, legislators look to minimize winery reporting

 
by Peter Mitham
 
 
washington liquor tax
 
House Bill 1373 would permit Washington state wineries selling less than 6,000 gallons of wine per year to report state liquor taxes once per year rather than quarterly.
Olympia, Wash.—Washington state legislators returned to work in Olympia this week and revived a bill that could provide welcome relief to smaller wineries grappling with the state’s liquor tax-reporting requirements. Existing rules require wineries that do business in the state, regardless of size, to report and pay liquor taxes quarterly. But the paperwork required to comply with the regulations is onerous, according to the Family Wineries of Washington State, which has asked that smaller producers be allowed to report and remit taxes annually rather than quarterly.

The request, presented as House Bill 1373 (and its companion, Senate Bill 5259), is sponsored by state Rep. Cary Condotta of East Wenatchee and four other lawmakers. “This bill would allow wineries and certificate-of-approval holders (out-of-state wineries) annually selling less than 6,000 gallons of wine in Washington to report and pay their state liquor taxes not more frequently than annually,” explained John Morgan, a board member of the association and winemaker at 3,500-case Lost River Winery
in Winthrop, Wash.

“We believe this bill would not only represent an immediate reduction in paperwork for the overwhelming majority of Washington wineries, but it also would greatly reduce no-activity or minimal-activity reporting for out-of-state certificate-of-approval holders shipping small amounts of wine to consumers in Washington,” Morgan said.

FWWS president Paul Beveridge, who with his wife Lysle Wilhelmi operates 2,000-case Wilridge Winery in Madrona near Seattle, said his wife spends about an hour per month completing sales reports and tax remittances for their winery. She also assists other wineries with recordkeeping. With an hourly rate of $50 per hour, Wilhelmi’s fees often outstrip what’s owed to the state.

Voter decision paves the way
Introduced a year ago in January 2011, the bill’s cause was advanced by voter acceptance of ballot initiative 1183 this past November, which is recasting the Washington State Liquor Control Board as a regulator rather than a distributor and retailer.

While taxes will still flow through the WSLCB, overhaul of the board’s computing and record-keeping systems as part of privatization of liquor sales in the state will allow it to make changes to remittance requirements that would otherwise have been in themselves too costly to maintain.

A fiscal note appended to the bill during last year’s session of the legislature indicated that changes required under the bill would require 1,400 hours of programming time—approximately one hour for each of the 1,430 wineries affected by the bill—at an estimated cost of $256,500. This was out of proportion to the $20,000 in assessments and $26,000 in taxes remitted annually by these wineries, even though testimony before a state committee last winter noted that the changes would also reduce paperwork required of liquor regulators.

Now, with the shakeup of the state’s liquor control board, the cost of change is not an issue. The WSLCB now believes it can implement these changes “without additional significant impact within the process of changing the licensing and reporting system to implement Initiative 1183,” Morgan told Wines & Vines. “They are, accordingly, removing their fiscal note from our bill.”

While there have been court challenges to I-1183, implementation of the bill continues. A judge in Cowlitz County last month dismissed a bid for an injunction seeking to halt implementation (see “Washington Wine Privatization Still Stands,” Dec. 21, 2011).

“(This) is part of a growing trend toward reduced reporting frequency in wine shipment,” Morgan said, citing recent moves by Idaho and New York to allow annual reporting. Oregon has also considered making similar changes. “We will be proud to see Washington share leadership on this front,” Morgan added.

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 $622 million
7%
$7,995 million
5%
March 2014 $582 million $7,588 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 $252 million
19%
$1,863 million
14%
March 2014 $213 million $1,634 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 356
22%
243
16%
March 2014 292 210
     
 
MORE » Released on 04.15.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • April 25-26
     
    Vineyard to Vintner in Stags Leap
     
  • April 25-27
     
    World Wine Meetings America
     
  • April 26
     
    TAPAS Grand Tasting
     
  • April 26
     
    Vintners Hall of Fame
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Bedroom Communities Seek Vineyard AVA »
 
Why not just bottle under a vineyard designation? The bond will have a city or...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Is Organic Grape Growing Possible in the East? »
 
FWIW, We make a few wines from a certified Organic vineyard growing cabernet franc, merlot,...
Reader: southoldfc
 
Article: Specialty Tanks Encourage Oak Extraction »
 
According to the manufacturer, the logs are made through compression and not with a binding...
Reader: Andrew Adams
 
Article: Specialty Tanks Encourage Oak Extraction »
 
What is the bonding agent of the Pressed Oak Logs?
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Is Organic Grape Growing Possible in the East? »
 
Some Long Island, NY, vineyard farmers are already using nearly organic methods. They have worked...
Reader: envcat
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Manager And Full/Part-...
 Boston, MA
Sales and Marketing
 National Sales Manager
 St Helena, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Tasting Room Manager (...
 Sebastopol, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Tasting Room Manager
 Los Gatos, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Tasting Room Cashier/G...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Tasting Room Associate
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Dtc Sales/Marketing Co...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Tasting Room Assistant
 Woodinville, WA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Scheduler / Planner
 Sebastopol, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Fine Art & Design Cons...
 Napa, CA
Sales and Marketing
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.