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Old Feb 24, 06, 4:43 pm   #1
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Question Sales taxes and liquor sales in AZ, CO, UT and NM

I'll be visiting NV and the above-mentioned states in the next few months and want to get the low down on sales taxes in the above states and how expensive/difficult to purchase liquor (spirits, wine & beer) are. This is for personal consumption while travelling and to take home to Canada.

I know NV is 7% depending on county (probably the same in Clark as it was in Washoe) and alcohol of all sorts is readily available. How does price compare to AZ?

How about AZ, CO, NM and UT assuming you're not wandering anywhere near Indian reservations (where possession let alone sale is prohibited?)
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Old Feb 25, 06, 6:31 am   #2
 
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WOW! how much booze do u plan on buying in that a few % points sales tax- wise makes that much difference? I can't speak for any except Utah, where you at least can buy beer easily at a grocery store. I checked a receipt I kept from skiing trip last week and it looks like tax rate in Utah is about 7.25%. But that was in countys of Salt Lake area.
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Old Feb 25, 06, 9:39 am   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach

I know NV is 7% depending on county (probably the same in Clark as it was in Washoe)
You know not.

Clark is 7.75%. Washoe is 7.375%.
NV is not 7% but 6.5% on top of which some counties add their own levy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach
How about AZ, CO, NM and UT assuming you're not wandering anywhere near Indian reservations (where possession let alone sale is prohibited?)
As far as I know that only applies to the Navajo Nation which primarily in AZ and NM and very southern UT. The Paiute and Moapa tribes n NV not only permit alcohol but generate a good chunk of their revenue from selling it at very good prices.

Are you driving on this trip by chance? If so buy all your stuff in Oregon which has no sales tax.
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Old Feb 25, 06, 9:29 pm   #4
 
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Sales tax is 8.1% in Phoenix, about the same in NM. Perhaps someone from UT can comment, but it used to be that you could only buy alcohol in state-owned liquor stores and there weren't very many of them!
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Old Feb 25, 06, 9:55 pm   #5
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Looks like NV must have lifted the sales tax limit since I left there ('97). Was 6.5% + up to 0.5% county tax back then.

I've noticed that in some some states, hard liquor sales are restricted to liquor stores hence prices can be high (higher for the same booze where I live, even when the CAD was much lower against the USD than it is today). Like buying liquor in HI and NV for that reason and not in PA and WA. Of course the taxes don't help.

Are there any native liquor sales outlets near LAS and on the way to Flagstaff? I know the Washoe cigarette outlet in Reno/Sparks was very popular!

And no, not driving. Well aware of the o% sales tax in OR.
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Old Feb 26, 06, 6:27 am   #6
 
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In Utah, you can only buy liquor and wine in state-run liquor stores. There are 37 full-service stores located throughout the state. The stores have inconvienent hours (most close between 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm), and aren't open on Sundays.

Beer is a bit easier to obtain, as it can be sold in grocery stores and gas stations. It's only 3.2%, so you'll need to load up if you want a buzz. Beer isn't sold on Sunday in some places, and can't be purchased after 1:00 am.

I'm not sure if the tax rate on alcohol is any higher than the state sales tax (last I checked, it was 6.6% but seems to change weekly). The liquor store prices are reasonable...not cheap, but not overwhelmingly expensive either.
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Old Feb 26, 06, 8:00 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach
Looks like NV must have lifted the sales tax limit since I left there ('97). Was 6.5% + up to 0.5% county tax back then.

I've noticed that in some some states, hard liquor sales are restricted to liquor stores hence prices can be high (higher for the same booze where I live, even when the CAD was much lower against the USD than it is today). Like buying liquor in HI and NV for that reason and not in PA and WA. Of course the taxes don't help.

Are there any native liquor sales outlets near LAS and on the way to Flagstaff? I know the Washoe cigarette outlet in Reno/Sparks was very popular!

And no, not driving. Well aware of the o% sales tax in OR.
Yeah back in '97, Nevada was still a somewhat fiscally conservative state. Fast forward a decade, hundreds of thousand of Californians have moved in turning this once great state into the tax/spend mess they left behind. But I digress.

Close to Las Vegas there are two Indian tribe otions, neither of them on the way tp Flagstaff though: On I-15 (on the way to Utah) there is the Moapa tribal store. I'd say it is about 45 mins from the Strip. There is also the Paiute store which is on US 95, 30 mins from the Strip.
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Old Feb 26, 06, 11:03 am   #8
 
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As for WHERE to buy, my guess is that Costco would be the least expensive, but their selection is fairly limited. Keep in mind that in most states there is the state sales tax to which local jurisdictions add more local taxes.

Tax rates are always changing, at least in AZ. I used to have a sales license and had to do monthly remissions to the state. They would send out bulletins with changes. It was hard to keep track of. So it's difficult to ask what the tax rate is anywhere and get an accurate answer.

Keep in mind the taxes you will pay go toward the nice roads you will drive on if yours is a road trip.
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Old Feb 26, 06, 4:50 pm   #9
 
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CO (most familiar with Denver/Boulder area): Beer is generally available in grocery stores; Wine and other alcohol are not (I don't know about malt liquor drinks such as the various "coolers"; fermented cider (Woodchuck, Hornsbys) is too strong for the grocers to sell).

Unlike in other states, AFAIK neither the Costco's nor the Cost Plus World Markets near me sell wine, though the Costco's do sell beer (there may be a CPWM somewhere in Denver which does sell some alcohol). However, the Sam's Clubs have a liquor store under the same roof which is run separately (you can use major credit cards in these). Otherwise, wine and liquor are available in liquor stores (or directly from the wineries). I don't believe the liquor stores open on Sunday (an issue which was debated but not resolved in the legislature last year IIRC).

The wineries are generally open and selling on Sunday. http://www.coloradowine.com/

State sales tax is 2.9%, but there are a number of local and regional taxes. I think you'll generally see sales tax in the 7-8.5% range, depending on locality. While there is a lower tax on grocery food (my term), I do not believe that "grocery food" includes alcohol.

Enjoy your trip (which it sounds like you will if your alcohol purchases and consumption are significant enough that you are concerned about the sales taxes).

P. S. CO does have an open container prohibition law, in case your travelling companions were thinking about it (of course you would never consider that ).
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Old Feb 26, 06, 4:55 pm   #10
 
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In Colorado you can buy only at liquor stores (superstores in abundance in the Denver metro area) and only beer and wine "soft drinks" at the groceries, and those are 3.2 alchohol. Forget about buying on Sundays, too--blue laws still in effect. Tax depends on county.
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Old Feb 26, 06, 4:57 pm   #11
 
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Sales tax is 8.16% in Boulder, CO though I think it varies by locale.

You can buy 3.2% beer at grocery stores. You have to go to a liquor store for the good stuff. No alcohol sales on Sunday except MAYBE 3.2 beer. I never buy the 3.2 beer so I'm not sure if you can buy it on Sunday or not.

Edited to say - Sylvia beat me to it.

Last edited by GoBucks; Feb 26, 06 at 4:59 pm.. Reason: Too late.
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Old Feb 28, 06, 2:21 pm   #12
 
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Liquor at Costco

There is 1 Costco in the Denver/Boulder area that does sell alcohol. I remember that it is in W. Denver, Lakewood I think. The selection is fairly limited but you can find the majors there at a decent discount. I purchased Walker black for 27 at 1 liter but that was over a year ago. The Costco's would love to sell alcohol at all stores in Colorado but there is a weird state law about only allowing a wholesaler only so many full liquor licenses per total number of stores in the county or state. I'm not entirely certain on the specifics. I've been finding 8% flat in the Parker/Lone Tree/Highlands Ranch area. Considering Costco is the biggest seller of wine in the US (60 Minutes), they are definatly willing to expand more to get the 2nd license.

There was some impetous to start selling alcohol on Sunday but the small liquor stores caused a considerable uproar and got the bill quashed. They were concerned with chains starting up and muscleing out the locals. Another small note, skiing while drunk is a misdemeanor also and can be fined up to $500. I've never heard of anyone getting busted for this though.
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Old Feb 28, 06, 10:44 pm   #13
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Thanks again. I think I will buy all the beer & wine we (my S.O. is ethnic Austrian so 'nuff said about the amount required) need for the road trip (2 weeks ex-PHX) from a Trader Joes in the PHX area and cart it around. Buy the liquor in PHX or TUS on the way back since I'm guessing there's no reasonable duty free at PHX.
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Old Mar 8, 06, 6:59 pm   #14
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Just back from the 1st trip (Vegas+Flagstaff). Didn't get a chance to check AZ liquor prices (or availability in supermarkets). Was rather disappointed with prices in Vegas. Even at Lee's Liquor, 151 proof Bacardi was $26+tax/1.1l bottle. We can get this duty-free at the Cdn border for $18 (even less on sale + no tax). Did get a texas mickey of Sauza tequila (savings seems to be for bulk). Airport duty-free prices seemed to be good but there was nothing we would buy (got a bottle or Russian vodka at Trader Joes for $10 but saw that Lee's had it for $7 ) So it seems there is some liquor duty in the U.S. (albeet the duty could be going into the retailers/wholesalers' pocket instead of the government's).
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Old Mar 9, 06, 8:09 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingcat2k
There is 1 Costco in the Denver/Boulder area that does sell alcohol. I remember that it is in W. Denver, Lakewood I think.
Yes, at Quincy & Wadsworth--just south of Hampden/285.

Quote:
The Costco's would love to sell alcohol at all stores in Colorado but there is a weird state law about only allowing a wholesaler only so many full liquor licenses per total number of stores in the county or state.
I believe it's actually one store per state, regardless of how many stores you have. That's why the Cost Plus World Market in Cherry Creek is the only one in (at least) Denver that can sell wine.
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