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March 9, 2013

CONTACT: Sarah Stewart, Public Information Officer - (360) 786-7720


State's sweet treatment of beekeepers makes beeline through House

Legislation to extend a sunsetting tax incentive for beekeepers passed the House of Representatives unanimously today.
House Bill 1558 would extend a tax exemption on bee food, and provide an additional exemption from the sales tax with a certificate. Rep. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, sponsored the legislation at the request of a constituent in Ephrata.
"Beekeeping is critical to our state and to our agriculture community," said Warnick. "When I first heard about this exemption, I thought it would be a minor issue in the Legislature. However, I have learned the importance of honey bees and the state's support of this crucial industry is a very big deal."
"Extending this exemption is just a start," said Warnick. "We intend to look further into how we can address challenges, like colony collapse, facing apiarists."
Without the legislation, the exemption for bee food created in 2008 would expire July 1 of this year.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
455 John L. O'Brien Building
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600