Liquor now sold at retailers after state stores close



SEATTLE - Retailers are now selling hard alcohol after state stores closed under Initiative 1183, approved by voters last fall to dismantle Washington's state-run liquor system. 


Shoppers seemed to be in high spirits at the Metropolitan Market in the Queen Anne neighborhood where there was a midnight party.  Shoppers checked inventory and prices and took their bottles to the checkout stand as TV cameras rolled for the historic change.


Prices will be confusing at first, as retailers and consumers try to figure out what the actual costs will be.  While shoppers may see reasonable price tags on store shelves, they will pay significantly more at checkout with a $3.77  per-liter fee and a 20.5 percent tax tacked on.


Check out this calculator from our partners at The News Tribune to see how much you'll pay at the register versus what's listed on the shelf.


 In the end, shoppers could pay as much as 15 to 35 percent more than what liquor sold for at state-run stores.


Retailers also have to pay additional taxes, including a 10 percent distributor fee and a 17 percent retail fee.


Metropolitan Market has a tax chart so shoppers can calculate their end price, but not all stores will have that convenience.


  Initiative 1183 allows stores larger than 10,000 square feet and some smaller stores to sell hard alcohol.