Oregon May Drown State’s Brew Business with 1,900% Tax Hike

By April 15, 2009Taxation

From the Wall Street Journal, “This Tax Is for You“:

Today is the dreaded April 15, but at least in Oregon it’s even going to cost you more to drown in your tax sorrows. In their sober unwisdom, the state’s pols plan to raise taxes by 1,900% on . . . beer. The tax would catapult to $52.21 from $2.60 a barrel. The money is intended to reduce Oregon’s $3 billion budget deficit and, ostensibly, to pay for drug treatment.

If it passes, Oregon will overnight become the most taxing state for suds, one-third higher than the next highest beer tax state, Alaska. The state may do this even though Oregon is the second largest microbrewery producer in the U.S. The beer industry and its 96 breweries contribute 5,000 jobs and $2.25 billion to state GDP. Kurt Widmer of Widmer Brewing Co. says the tax would “devastate our company and small breweries throughout the state.” Adds Joe Henchman, director of state projects at the Tax Foundation, “This microbrewery industry has gravitated to Oregon in part due to low beer taxes.”

So instead of paying, say, $3 for a pint of a good craft beer, you’d pay $4.50.

The Oregon Brewers Guild has a website opposing the proposed 1,900 percent increase in beer taxes, http://oregonbeer.org/no-new-oregon-beer-tax/ with lots of good facts and figures. The bill is HB 2461.

Join the discussion One Comment

Leave a Reply