BOISE -- Idaho liquor officials say border sales are up after a change in the law in Washington state made Idaho booze cheaper.
Washington privatized its liquor market but added a 10 percent distributor fee and a 17 percent retail fee to replace money the state lost when it shut down its state-run liquor stores.
People from Washington are crossing the state line to stock up on cheaper booze. In the eight stores the Idaho State Liquor Board tracks from Moscow to Old Town, sales are up 30% in June compared to last year. It’s a $550,000 increase that Experts in Idaho say Washington’s law and new taxes helped drive.
KREM2’s Cole Heath spent about an hour at a Post Falls, ID liquor store and saw that more than half the customers had Washington license plates.
Other media outlets report the increase in sales along the Idaho border mirrors the increase seen along the Washington-Oregon border.
Oregon reported sales rose 35 percent in June along the border, bringing Oregon $870,000 more than usual.
That's slightly more than Idaho's border-store sales. Both Idaho and Oregon have a state-run liquor market.