Alcohol tax revenues cut in half

TRI-CITIES - KEPR is continuing to follow-up on the aftermath of the special session. We learned our cities are getting less revenues than anticipated from the liquor tax.

It's not totally unexpected. When the initiative passed, the liquor tax became a temporary item.

That tax has now been cut in half. And that means a loss of about 150-thousand dollars for our cities every year.

Officials tells us it's too early to project an overall budget shortfall. But they add city budgets operate just like a business. So every source of revenue is important.

"Anytime we lose revenues, it's not a good thing. It's something we want to take a careful approach to comprehensively look at the bigger picture," said Kennewick Finance Director Dan Legard.

The state also raised rates for the pension fund for state employers. That means our cities have to pay up an extra $200,000 each year. Officials admit they're unsure how they'll make up the extra costs.