WFIA represents the grocery and convenience store industries. Our issues are very broad yet unique. Some of our issues include labor, transportation, food waste, sustainability, and taxes.
The association advocates the interests of the independent grocery and convenience store industries on state legislative and regulatory issues that could significantly impact the business operations of our retailer and wholesaler member companies. Our strength is in our members and WFIA represents almost 500 unique and diverse members in every corner of the state.
WFIA 2019 Priority Issues
- Tax Exempt Bona Fide Discounts: Under Washington State’s tax code, bona fide discounts are exempt from B&O tax. Both food and beverage grocery store scan down allowances and pharmacy volume discounts should continue being treated as bona fide discounts under Washington State’s tax code, thus exempt from B&O tax.
- Retail Theft: WFIA supports amending the definition of theft to include the act of concealment of the property with the intent to deprive another person of its use and benefit. This is to include the concealment of an item within a grocery store with the intent to remove the item from the store without paying for the item.
- Spirit Sales Legislation: WFIA supports allowing stores under 10,000 sq. ft. to sell small bottles (375 milliliters/.79 pint) and requiring these stores to lock-up spirits or place behind a counter accessible only to employees.
- Plastic Bag Ban: WFIA supports a statewide plastic bag ban as long as state law prevails over local law, there is a fee of at least $0.10 per compostable and paper bag, that the technical specification of the bags are industry standards and that the Legislature mandate that DOE implement a statewide consumer education on the new mandate for at least 60 days prior to the effective date of the law and at least 60 days following implementation.
- Restore ALL Litter Tax Revenue to the WRRLC Fund: All of the litter tax dollars collected from industry should be used for their intended purpose of cleaning up litter, local government programs designed for recycling, and disposal or composting the products being taxed – including public education regarding effective and proper disposal. This WRRLC account is established under RCW 70.93.180.
- Secured Scheduling: WFIA opposes bills that would impose secure scheduling or predictive scheduling on the independent grocery industry. These proposals would significantly impact costs for our state’s independent grocers as experienced in Seattle. Increasing costs on independent grocers’ results in increasing food costs for Washington’s citizens and puts unnecessary strains on many communities around the state.
- Raising the Age Limit for Tobacco Sales to 21: WFIA opposes increasing the age of tobacco sales to only those 21 or older at a state level. Until all jurisdictions (including tribes, all other states and Canada) increase their age for tobacco purchases in Washington, retailers in Washington State will find themselves losing business, not just for tobacco products but for other products as well, to these other jurisdictions.