NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Revenue-Hungry States Consider Raising Taxes on Beer

April 4, 2003

Grasping for ways to balance their budgets, states are eyeing breweries. At least 19 states are considering plans to boost beer taxes.

  • Pennsylvania is proposing one of the heftiest taxes, from 8 cents to a quarter on a gallon -- which would raise $55 million a year.
  • Utah's legislature has passed a bill to raise the tax from $11 per barrel to $12.80 -- while Idaho is considering raising its per-gallon tax from 15 cents to 24 cents.
  • The governor of Nevada wants to temporarily increase the tax from 9 cents to 17 cents per gallon.
  • The Arkansas legislature voted to renew a 3 percent tax hike on beer that was passed two years ago.

A spokesman for the D.G. Yuengling & Son brewery has complained that constantly coming to the tobacco and alcohol industries for state revenues is "not fair." He estimates that the Pennsylvania hike would cost his company $4.5 million a year.

Source: Associated Press, "Tax Plans for Beer Are Driving Sellers Nuts," USA Today, April 4, 2003.

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