Liias bill would eliminate double standard for taxing uncooked pizzas

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Sen. Marko Liias and Tony McNulty, the owner of Papa Murphy’s stores in Mukilteo and Monroe, slide Liias’ bill on behalf of local pizza sellers and customers into “the Hopper,” the first step of the legislative process of creating or changing a law, alongside Donny Bocksch, another Papa Murphy’s owner. (Photo courtesy of Washington State Senate)

If you purchase an uncooked pizza that was prepared some place other than the store where you buy it, you won’t be charged sales tax. It’s the same for a frozen pizza you buy in a supermarket. But if you buy an uncooked pizza that was prepared fresh in the store where you buy it, you must pay sales tax.

Sen. Marko Liias, D-Lynnwood disagrees with this and he wants to fix it.

Liias’ Senate Bill 5861 would eliminate the sales tax on pizzas prepared fresh in the stores where you buy them.

“There’s no logical rationale for this tax,” Liias said. “If you don’t pay tax on frozen pizzas or uncooked pizzas prepared at other sites from where you buy them, why pay tax on locally made, unfrozen pizzas you buy and bake at home?”

He noted that existing law benefits out-of-state companies while penalizing local businesses and customers like those of Tony McNulty, a constituent who owns Papa Murphy’s stores in Mukilteo and Monroe.

“I am happy that Marko approached me about introducing this proposal,” McNulty said. “It is welcome news when your senator calls you up and says he wants to help level the playing field for small business owners.”

“In both cases, the customer is buying an uncooked pizza and baking it at home. Why should Tony’s customers pay more for a locally prepared pizza than for a pizza prepared nowhere near here?” Liias said. “Our local pizza businesses and their customers deserve a level playing field.”

  1. Sen. Lias still has election sings littering the roads and I for one would like to see him follow the law and remove them.

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