Washington

How you going to beat the heat? Here’s what you need to know before buying bottled water

Just in time for this week’s predicted heat wave, bottled water in the state of Washington will be subject to sales and use tax beginning Tuesday.
Just in time for this week’s predicted heat wave, bottled water in the state of Washington will be subject to sales and use tax beginning Tuesday. The Bellingham Herald file

Think about filling up a thermos with ice water, rather than coffee, on your way out the door Tuesday – and every day this week.

Just in time for this week’s predicted heat wave, bottled water in the state of Washington will be subject to sales and use tax beginning Tuesday (Aug. 1), according to a release by the Washington Food and Industry Association.

According to the website, bottled water refers to “water sold in a safety-sealed container or package. Bottled water is calorie free and does not contain sweeteners or other additives except that it may contain: antimicrobial agents; fluoride; carbonation; vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, oxygen, preservatives and only those flavors, extracts, or essences derived from a spice or fruit.” But it does not include ice or water that is dispensed from a self-service container.

The Department of Revenue breaks down the taxation on bottled water on its website, including the two exemptions for bottled water delivery service: when there is no other source of potable water and when there is a prescription for bottled water.

According to a story by avalara.com, Washington lawmakers added bottled water as a taxable item during the biennial budget discussions earlier this summer, as a state government shutdown loomed.

KNDU25, an NBC affiliate in the Tri-Cities, is conducting an informal Facebook poll of what readers think about bottled water being taxed. As you might expect, response has been more than 7-to-1 against.

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