Washington's new candy tax kicks in today



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Posted on May 31, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 1 at 8:43 AM

SEATTLE - Get ready to pay more for candy, bottled water and some beers. New taxes kick in on Tuesday. But increased taxes also target soda, cigarettes and some processed food.

Right now candy and gum are exempt from the state sales tax as food, but starting Tuesday most candy and gum will also be taxed at the standard sales tax rate of each city, which is around 9 percent.

Although in a confusing twist if candy has flour as an ingredient it will still not be taxed.

A number of shoppers at Lacey's Grocery Outlet were stocking up on items Monday before the new taxes kicked in.

"We were looking for Skittles for my son," said Sandy Ketchum from Lacey.

"After the tax goes on it, we probably won't buy them as often," said Ketchum. "We have to watch our pennies."

The store manager said shoppers have been buying more bottled water in the last few days.

"We came in to get a couple of cases," said Dan Durbin from DuPont.

Lacey's Darla Worden said the tax increases will change her spending habits.

"I'll just plan to buy those things when I'm down in Portland," said Worden.

Beer taxes will go up 28 cents per six pack. All carbonated beverages will also be taxed starting July 1.

Smokers already saw their taxes go up, a dollar per pack a month ago.

The state says they had to make these kinds of changes to help save programs.  Even though most state programs are facing significant cuts, the legislature said cuts would have been far worse if exemptions weren't repealed and taxes raised.