66.24.610  <<  66.24.620 >>   66.24.630

Sale of spirits by a holder of a spirits distributor or spirits retail licenseState liquor store closure.

(1) The holder of a spirits distributor license or spirits retail license issued under this title may commence sale of spirits upon issuance thereof, but in no event earlier than March 1, 2012, for distributors, or June 1, 2012, for retailers. The board must complete application processing by those dates of all complete applications for spirits licenses on file with the board on or before sixty days from December 8, 2011.
(2) The board must effect orderly closure of all state liquor stores no later than June 1, 2012, and must thereafter refrain from purchase, sale, or distribution of liquor, except for asset sales authorized by chapter 2, Laws of 2012.
(3) The board must devote sufficient resources to planning and preparation for sale of all assets of state liquor stores and distribution centers, and all other assets of the state over which the board has power of disposition, including without limitation goodwill and location value associated with state liquor stores, with the objective of depleting all inventory of liquor by May 31, 2012, and closing all other asset sales no later than June 1, 2013. The board, in furtherance of this subsection, may sell liquor to spirits licensees.
(4)(a) Disposition of any state liquor store or distribution center assets remaining after June 1, 2013, must be managed by the department of revenue.
(b) The board must obtain the maximum reasonable value for all asset sales made under this section.
(c) The board must sell by auction open to the public the right at each state-owned store location of a spirits retail licensee to operate a liquor store upon the premises. Such right must be freely alienable and subject to all state and local zoning and land use requirements applicable to the property. Acquisition of the operating rights must be a precondition to, but does not establish eligibility for, a spirits retail license at the location of a state store and does not confer any privilege conferred by a spirits retail license. Holding the rights does not require the holder of the right to operate a liquor-licensed business or apply for a liquor license.
(5) All sales proceeds under this section, net of direct sales expenses and other transition costs authorized by this section, must be deposited into the liquor revolving fund.
(6)(a) The board must complete the orderly transition from the current state-controlled system to the private licensee system of spirits retailing and distribution as required under this chapter by June 1, 2012.
(b) The transition must include, without limitation, a provision for applying operating and asset sale revenues of the board to just and reasonable measures to avert harm to interests of tribes, military buyers, and nonemployee liquor store operators under then existing contracts for supply by the board of distilled spirits, taking into account present value of issuance of a spirits retail license to the holder of such interest. The provision may extend beyond the time for completion of transition to a spirits licensee system.
(c) Purchases by the federal government from any licensee of the board of spirits for resale through commissaries at military installations are exempt from sales tax based on selling price levied by RCW 82.08.150.
[ 2012 c 2 § 102 (Initiative Measure No. 1183, approved November 8, 2011).]


Finding2012 c 2 (Initiative Measure No. 1183): "(1) The people of the state of Washington, in enacting this initiative measure, find that the state government monopoly on liquor distribution and liquor stores in Washington and the state government regulations that arbitrarily restrict the wholesale distribution and pricing of wine are outdated, inefficient, and costly to local taxpayers, consumers, distributors, and retailers. Therefore, the people wish to privatize and modernize both wholesale distribution and retail sales of liquor and remove outdated restrictions on the wholesale distribution of wine by enacting this initiative.
(2) This initiative will:
(a) Privatize and modernize wholesale distribution and retail sales of liquor in Washington state in a manner that will reduce state government costs and provide increased funding for state and local government services, while continuing to strictly regulate the distribution and sale of liquor;
(b) Get the state government out of the commercial business of distributing, selling, and promoting the sale of liquor, allowing the state to focus on the more appropriate government role of enforcing liquor laws and protecting public health and safety concerning all alcoholic beverages;
(c) Authorize the state to auction off its existing state liquor distribution and state liquor store facilities and equipment;
(d) Allow a private distributor of alcohol to get a license to distribute liquor if that distributor meets the requirements set by the Washington state liquor control board and is approved for a license by the board and create provisions to promote investments by private distributors;
(e) Require private distributors who get licenses to distribute liquor to pay ten percent of their gross spirits revenues to the state during the first two years and five percent of their gross spirits revenues to the state after the first two years;
(f) Allow for a limited number of retail stores to sell liquor if they meet public safety requirements set by this initiative and the liquor control board;
(g) Require that a retail store must have ten thousand square feet or more of fully enclosed retail space within a single structure in order to get a license to sell liquor, with limited exceptions;
(h) Require a retail store to demonstrate to state regulators that it can effectively prevent sales of alcohol to minors in order to get a license to sell liquor;
(i) Ensure that local communities have input before a liquor license can be issued to a local retailer or distributor and maintain all local zoning requirements and authority related to the location of liquor stores;
(j) Require private retailers who get licenses to sell liquor to pay seventeen percent of their gross spirits revenues to the state;
(k) Maintain the current distribution of liquor revenues to local governments and dedicate a portion of the new revenues raised from liquor license fees to increase funding for local public safety programs, including police, fire, and emergency services in communities throughout the state;
(l) Make the standard fines and license suspension penalties for selling liquor to minors twice as strong as the existing fines and penalties for selling beer or wine to minors;
(m) Make requirements for training and supervision of employees selling spirits at retail more stringent than what is now required for sales of beer and wine;
(n) Update the current law on wine distribution to allow wine distributors and wineries to give volume discounts on the wholesale price of wine to retail stores and restaurants; and
(o) Allow retailers and restaurants to distribute wine to their own stores from a central warehouse." [ 2012 c 2 § 101 (Initiative Measure No. 1183, approved November 8, 2011).]
Application2012 c 2 (Initiative Measure No. 1183): "This act does not increase any tax, create any new tax, or eliminate any tax. Section 106 of this act applies to spirits licensees upon December 8, 2011, but all taxes presently imposed by RCW 82.08.150 on sales of spirits by or on behalf of the liquor control board continue to apply so long as the liquor control board makes any such sales." [ 2012 c 2 § 301 (Initiative Measure No. 1183, approved November 8, 2011).]
Rules2012 c 2 (Initiative Measure No. 1183): "The department of revenue must develop rules and procedures to address claims that this act unconstitutionally impairs any contract with the state and to provide a means for reasonable compensation of claims it finds valid, funded first from revenues based on spirits licensing and sale under this act." [ 2012 c 2 § 303 (Initiative Measure No. 1183, approved November 8, 2011).]
Effective dateContingent effective date2012 c 2 (Initiative Measure No. 1183): "This act takes effect upon approval by the voters. Section 216, subsections (1) and (2) of this act take effect if Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 5942 is enacted by the legislature in 2011 and the bill, or any portion of it, becomes law. Section 216, subsection (3) of this act takes effect if any act or part of an act relating to the warehousing and distribution of liquor, including the lease of the state's liquor warehousing and distribution facilities, is adopted subsequent to May 25, 2011, in any 2011 special session." [ 2012 c 2 § 305 (Initiative Measure No. 1183, approved November 8, 2011).]
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