This past winter, Washington winemakers and grape growers voted to impose on themselves a higher tax. The tax dollars will pay for advertising to encourage people to think and buy Washington wines. These increased taxes will assist in financing the Washington State Wine Commission, a promotional agency. The commission’s primary source of funding is from the vineyards and wineries, as well as some state and federal funding.
Under this vote, commission fees will double from 4 cents per gallon of wine made at the wineries to 8 cents per gallon. Vineyard taxes will raise from $6 per ton of grapes to $12 per ton. The increase could start as early as July or get increase over the next few years.
Washington state's wine industry has exploded in the last twenty years – from less than 20 wineries in 1981 to nearly 500 today with more than 30,000 acres of wine grapes. The wine/grape industry is worth an estimated $3 billion to the state's economy. With this substantial increase of self-imposed taxes, money will be used to market Washington wines in key markets increasing awareness and for the wine consumer to think Washington, instead of California, Australia and Europe.
Attention people - THINK WASHINGTON WINE!