KENNEWICK, Wash- Saturday marks one year since Washington liquor stores were privatized.
In the state of Washington instead of 329 state run stores we now have more than 1,400 sellers. Total sales of liquor are up according to reports. Compare about 2.7 million liters sold a month to the 2.5 a month before the privatization. The state is making a lot more money by taxing the private stores, about 116 million dollars more.
The owners of Mid-Columbia Wine and Spirits say those taxes are hurting them. They're not making much of a profit on their liquor sales and they're seeing the mom and pop stores die off around them.
"What they're failing to tell you is how many private stores have closed since we have privatized this business," said Rajiv Malhan, an owner of Mid-Columbia Wine and Spirits. "There has been a lot of independent stores which have closed, and it looks like our state is more inclined to help big corporations than the small business owners."
While revenue for the state is up, the business owners we spoke with say if their taxes don't go down they may have to downsize.