Monday, March 1, 2010

New Tax on Pesticides and Fertilizers

The included email appeal was sent by the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers.

The taxing of fertilizers and amendments is bad public policy since these are consumable inputs in the production of wine grapes and therefore are legitimate "cost of goods sold" components in a finished product.

The exemption for registered organic inputs seems to serve no logical purpose except perhaps to justify the taxing of non organics as a punitive measure designed to reduce their use. We believe the numerous ongoing industry initiatives such as Salmon Safe, Lodi Rules, LIVE, Vinnea, etc. are ample evidence that the industry is already serious about reducing injudicious use of such treatments.

The addition of sales tax to major inputs such as these will inevitably increase economic pressures on wineries whether or not they grow their own grapes. We urge you to follow the directions in the included email and take a few moments to contact your legislator and express your opinion on this matter.


The FWWS Board

From: Vicky Scharlau
To: Vicky Scharlau
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 2:50 PM
Subject: LEGISLATIVE ALERT From WAWGG: new tax on pesticides, fertilizer


WE NEED YOUR INPUT... Senate Bill 6873 would eliminate the sales tax exemption for pesticides and fertilizers for agricultural producers unless they are registered organic products.

Because this proposal is moving so quickly, WAWGG lobbyist Jean Leonard is reaching out to key legislators in an attempt to keep this from moving forward. We’ll keep you posted.

Manufacturers are not charged sales tax on items like aluminum or other inputs because it is an input to manufacturing. Pesticides and fertilizers should be treated as inputs as well. Washington agriculture is exported around the world. Agriculture can help lead Washington out of the recession, but not if the legislature unfairly targets agriculture with a tax on inputs. While important, organic production is a quite small portion of Washington agriculture.

Please contact your legislators NOW! Let them know how an 8% sales tax will affect your business.

Click here to find your legislator:

Call the Hotline and leave your legislator a message at:


Callers to the Hotline can leave a brief message for their district legislators or for the Governor or Lt. Governor on issues of concern or on questions they may have about bills or laws. Messages are forwarded electronically to the appropriate individuals. When leaving a message with the Hotline, please be prepared to give your name and street address. Hotline is open from 8 AM to 8 PM Monday through Friday and from 9 AM to 1 PM on Saturday.

Click to find your legislator's name for the e-mail form:

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