Letter: Red tape seals exorbitant costs

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After reading the Oct. 29 story “Washington taxes taking a toll on smaller liquor stores” about rural and smaller liquor store owners behind on their state taxes, it once again points out the red tape and added costs government invokes when it is involved. The supposed objective of dismantling the state’s control of liquor distribution was to offer better choice, competitive pricing and to allow the industry to thrive in the “private” marketplace.

The problem as was stated in the story is that with the new 17 percent licensing fee, on top of the 10 percent excise tax, smaller operators are having a hard time competing. Why? Because they do not have other departments and or products to spread these costs within. (Costco of course is the big winner.)

Additionally, comparatively we are still not competitive with our neighbors. A trip to California will confirm that there still exists a 25-30 percent difference.

So bottom line, the state got rid of facilities, people and benefits, incurred a net profit due to exorbitant fees and taxes, and the product is as expensive if not more so than it was before.

These are the institutions that want to control your individual health care decisions.

Dan Studt

Vancouver