Beer Taxes



This morning, as I noted in my previous post today, The Gazette fronted news that Iowa politicians have little or no interest in raising the state’s tax on beer. Alcohol taxes will remain unchanged, despite deepening budget woes.

Carla Keppler’s well done story makes mention that other states are considering beer tax hikes. But the track record is mixed, and most have been met with opposition.

A measure in Idaho that would raised the tax on wine and beer was handily defeated in a House committee, according to the AP. Opponents argued that a tax hike in the middle of a recession is a bad idea.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick wants to put a 5 percent sales tax on beer. Worcester Telegram columnist Clive McCFarlane doesn’t think much of the idea. He recommends the governor visit a bar:

First and foremost, he will find that the dependable taste of his favorite beer is one of the few things that provide the American worker with a good feeling these days.

He will learn that a couple of beers often cause people to speak freely and frankly, and it is not unlikely that he will run into patrons who believe that rather than their beer, it is their government, through years of incompetence and greed, that is being more of a detriment to the health and well-being of their families.

 I smell a Boston Beer Party brewing.

Many Oregonians are hopping mad about a proposal there to hike the beer tax from less than a penny per glass to 15 cents.  Oregon’s robust brewing industry is lobbying against the plan.

New York state is considering Gov. David Paterson’s plan to more than double the excise tax on beer.

Even in bourbon country, the booze tax is rising.

But in other places, there’s no hike on tap.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle wants to raise the tax on smokes, but isn’t touching a beer tax that hasn’t gone up in 40 years.

And across the pond, Tories in the UK want to cut the tax on beer to help struggling pubs.

Maybe they remember the old proverb attributed by many to the Czechs:

“Any government that raises the price of beer cannot last longer than the next plum harvest.”



Filed under Beer

2 responses to “Beer Taxes

  1. DJ

    Organic Beer Tasting from Monday on Grist… enjoy!!

  2. Jik

    I agree completely. But where was all this antitax sentiment when they raised the cig tax before, or even now that they’re going to do it again? Apparently a lot of people have a double standard when it comes to vices.

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