Convenience Store Robbery? Washington State ‘Sin Tax’ Targets Candy, Beer

By Bradley Blackburn

Jun 1, 2010 3:45pm

ABC's Bradley Blackburn reports: It's not as bad as a stick-up, but convenience store owners in Washington state say they're being robbed of sales by the government. A new state law taking effect today puts a "sin" tax on gas station staples like candy bars, gum, beer and even bottled water.  The 6.5 percent sales tax would tag an additional dime to the cost of a chocolate bar and more than a quarter to a six-pack of beer.  The new tax is sandwiched between two other tax hikes that are slicing deli sales, including a $1-per-pack cigarette tax that started last month and a tax on soda that's scheduled to begin in July. Convenience store owner Kuljit Singh said the cigarette law has already taken a chunk out of his cash register, and he fears what today's new law will do to his business. "At least 30 percent of sales have dropped," Singh told Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO-TV.  "At the end of the day, the state is going to lose a lot of money just on the sales tax." If Singh is right, that will counter the very reason state lawmakers started their tax assault in the first place — to cover a $3 billion budget shortfall. You can see KOMO's report here: http://www.komonews.com/news/95295699.html?tab=video

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