The state's Office of Financial Management just released projections for how much revenue we stand to lose by privatizing liquor sales under both Initiatives 1100 and 1105. The short of it is, the state says neither initiative looks good for the state (surprise!).
Here's what the OFM says about I-1105 (1105.pdf), the distributor-backed initiative that would preserve the state's current three-tiered system—manufacturer, distributor, retailer: "Total state revenues decrease an estimated $486 million—$520 million... over five fiscal years." The report notes that the state would see a one-time net gain of $27.8 million from sale of the state liquor distribution center. One-time state costs are estimated at $39.2 million.
The I-1105 campaign came out with their own analysis yesterday that estimates a five-year, $130 million revenue increase for the state if their initiative passes.
Meanwhile, here's OFM's analysis of I-1100 (1100.pdf), the Costco-backed initiative that would allow retailers to buy directly from manufacturers (essentially allowing large companies like Costco to become their own distributors): "Total state revenues decrease an estimated $76 million—$85 million... over five fiscal years." The state would still get $27.8 million from selling the distribution center, but one-time costs for this initiative are projected at $38.6 million.
I-1100 responded to the OFM's estimates with a press release today essentially calling bullshit on the analysis: “Asking state government’s Office of Financial Management (OFM) to give you the financial impacts of Initiative 1100 is a little like asking the Mariners management in April what the club’s chance are of making the playoffs."
So what happens if either initiative passes? Both initiatives count on the legislature to set new taxes for their privatized systems, which means if Tim Eyman's Initiative 1053 also passes—an initiative that would require a 2/3 majority in the legislature to raise taxes—the legislature could be deadlocked and the state could lose out on $101 million annually in tax revenue.
And what happens if both pass? A fucking mess ensues. "The short answer is that there is no rule in the state to dictate what happens when two initiatives pass at the exact same time," says Dave Ammonds, Communications Director for the Secretary of State. "It'll be up to the legislature or the courts to figure out what to do. They could conceivably adopt an approach to say that the most popular of the two would prevail, or the legislature could try to harmonize the two, which would be difficult given that one keeps the three-tiered sale structure in place and the other abolishes it." Ammons says that the legislature would need a supermajority—or two-thirds approval in both houses—to mesh the two, as stipulated in the state constitution.