This Washington

Afternoon Fizz: Costco Liquor Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot

By Josh Feit July 27, 2011

The Secretary of State announced late this afternoon that I-1183, the Costco backed liquor privatization initiative has qualified for November's ballot.

They turned in 350,000 signatures on July 8. Measures need 241,000 valid signatures. Costco contributed over $600,000 to the signature gathering effort.

The proposal would take the booze business out of state hands (leaving the tax and liquor control board in place to regulate) and only allow 10,000 square foot stores (like Costco) to sell liquor. The stores would be required to give 17 percent of their alcohol sales revenue to the state annually.

A Costco-backed initiative that didn’t come with the 10,000 square foot rule—raising concerns among voters that there’d be a flood of corner liquor stores—failed at the ballot last year 53.43 to 46.57.

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