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Beer tax proposal rises next week

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Beer tax proposal rises next week

Postby greentomato » Fri May 11, 2007 5:11 pm

Rep. Terese Berceau and Sen. Fred Risser will introduce legislation next week to raise the state's beer tax.

Cap Times article here:
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/index.p ... 01&ntpid=2

Edit: As some of you may know, this isn't the first time beer tax legislation has been proposed by Rep. Berceau:
http://www.legis.state.wi.us/assembly/a ... elease.htm

My question is: What about liquor? This legislation is being touted as a way to fund "Alcohol Treatment" throughout the state. IMHO, you can't penalize one poison and not the other, if both can result in the same damage.

A contentious issue this one will be, I suspect - just curious as to how the Forum's Finest feel about it.
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Postby Henry Vilas » Fri May 11, 2007 7:17 pm

Interesting first post. Maybe you can answer these questions: When was Wisconsin's beer tax last raised and how does that compare with hard liquor taxes? Also a comparison to the beer/wine/booze taxes of the other 49 states would be nice.

I only ask because you seem to be in the know.
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Postby fennel » Fri May 11, 2007 7:34 pm

And are the same taxes charged on local microbrews as on the beer-drink made by international corporations? That wouldn't be good, since it discourages local producers and aggravates global warming via transportation costs.
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Postby white_rabbit » Fri May 11, 2007 7:41 pm

I would support a raise in beer tax to support "alcohol treatment" as long as that money goes towards secular and scientific treatment like cognitive-behavior, rational emotive based programs like SMART Recovery, Rational Recovery and Moderation Management and/or medical/pharmacological treatments like naltrexone and/or campral and not pseudo-religious organizations like AA.

The success rates of SMART Recovery, cognitive-behvavor therapy along with naltrexone and/or campral are showing tremendous promise for treating alcoholism, but the success rate of AA (well the very little information that AA will voluntarily provide) is dismal, at or below spontaneous recovery.
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Re: Beer tax proposal rises next week

Postby ms4denmark » Fri May 11, 2007 7:45 pm

greentomato wrote:My question is: What about liquor? This legislation is being touted as a way to fund "Alcohol Treatment" throughout the state. IMHO, you can't penalize one poison and not the other, if both can result in the same damage.

From the article
Under their proposal, the tax on a 12-ounce bottle of beer would increase from 0.6 to 3 cents.


Might it be that they can generate a lot more revenue on a per bottle basis on small, 12-oz bottles than 1/5th, .5l .75l, 1 liter and "home wreckers" (1.75l) bottles of liquor which instead of many being imbibed by one person in an evening getting several liquored up per bottle? Also, anyone know the liquor tax compared to the 40 year old beer tax of .06 cents per 12oz bottle? Is it also that far fetched to think that there might have to be separate legislation to raise the liquor tax compared to the beer tax?
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Postby Wesmon » Mon May 14, 2007 2:22 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Interesting first post. Maybe you can answer these questions: When was Wisconsin's beer tax last raised and how does that compare with hard liquor taxes? Also a comparison to the beer/wine/booze taxes of the other 49 states would be nice.

I only ask because you seem to be in the know.


http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/245.html

It looks like there is only one state with a lower beer tax than WI. Of course, that is not any arguement for raising the tax, especially in a state that produces alot of beer.
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Postby roadkill bill » Mon May 14, 2007 2:27 pm

I'm not going to search through the article, but if I remember correctly, this tax only applies to beer sold in Wisconsin. Therefore, it won't be levied on all that stuff we send to other states.

And I also seem to remember that the last time the tax was raised was 1969 :shock:

3 cents per bottle seems completely reasonable to me.
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Postby om » Mon May 14, 2007 3:06 pm

All of your questions are answered here:
http://www.legis.state.wi.us/assembly/a ... %20tax.ppt

The liquor tax has been raised as recently as 2005 by 8 cents a gallon. Before that in 1981.

The Wisconsin beer tax was created in 1933 at one dollar a barrel, and was raised only once to two dollars a barrel in 1969.

The kicker is that Wisconsin brewers only pay taxes on 30% of what they produce, since all exported beer is Wisconsin tax-exempt.
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Postby gargantua » Mon May 14, 2007 3:40 pm

In the past, I've been opposed to raising the tax, primarily due to the prohibitionist sort of holier-than-thou attitude of the sponsors. I mean my God, it makes you drunk, how can we justify not taxing the hell out of the evil stuff?!?

But....the current tax is very low, so I am hard pressed to continue opposing it because I don't like the snooty attitude of the sponsors.

I imagine a lot of smokers feel the same way about the punitive taxation of their favorite vice.
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Postby dstol62 » Mon May 14, 2007 3:53 pm

What's the worst that can come of this? That all of the cash poor state-enabled alcoholics will start boosting convenient stores to keep up their habit?

Last time I checked, beer is a luxury item.
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Postby lakelouie » Mon May 14, 2007 5:31 pm

om wrote:The kicker is that Wisconsin brewers only pay taxes on 30% of what they produce, since all exported beer is Wisconsin tax-exempt.


Just wanted to clarify this statement - less than 10 of the 70+ brewers in Wisconsin ship a portion of their product out of state. The rest of us small breweries keep the excise tax here in Wisconsin.

As for increasing the tax, it's based on per barrel (31 gallons) not per bottle. I think they give the conversion to show how small it can be, but it will increase for our brewery alone $6,000 a year (assuming they keep the tax break for small breweries).
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Postby Stu Levitan » Mon May 14, 2007 8:03 pm

gargantua wrote:...I don't like the snooty attitude of the sponsors.


Examples, please?
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Postby gargantua » Tue May 15, 2007 10:04 am

Stu Levitan wrote:
gargantua wrote:...I don't like the snooty attitude of the sponsors.


Examples, please?


I'll see what I can find. I based that statement on comments I remember from the last session when similar legislation was introduced. It was very evident that supporters really did not approve of drinking. Since I enjoy drinking occasionally, it just rubbed me the wrong way.
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Postby om » Tue May 15, 2007 10:22 am

lakelouie wrote:
om wrote:The kicker is that Wisconsin brewers only pay taxes on 30% of what they produce, since all exported beer is Wisconsin tax-exempt.


Just wanted to clarify this statement - less than 10 of the 70+ brewers in Wisconsin ship a portion of their product out of state. The rest of us small breweries keep the excise tax here in Wisconsin.

As for increasing the tax, it's based on per barrel (31 gallons) not per bottle. I think they give the conversion to show how small it can be, but it will increase for our brewery alone $6,000 a year (assuming they keep the tax break for small breweries).


Actually, you got two things wrong.
1) While there are 79 breweries registered with the DOR, 13 of them are not producing. Only 66 breweries in Wisconsin produced beer last year.
2) There are 24 (not less than 10) Wisconsin breweries that export all or a portion their beer. In fact there are 5 breweries that export all of their beer -- Wisconsin tax-free
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Postby Henry Vilas » Tue May 15, 2007 10:44 am

om wrote:In fact there are 5 breweries that export all of their beer -- Wisconsin tax-free

Not that you are wrong, but I find this very interesting: five Wisconsin breweries that don't even sell their product in state. Which ones are they?
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