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Booze Tax Increase Proposed

By Marcus Gilmer in Food on May 14, 2009 7:00PM

Photo by CarusoPhoto
State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz is looking to boost the state alcohol tax by five cents a drink. According to WGN Radio:

The funds generated from the new tax wouldn't go into the general revenue fund, Feigenholtz said. Instead it would be used to created two treatment funds- one for substance abuse and the other for mental health.

"You don't see a lot of loss consumers because of small taxes like this, and I think the funding goes a long way," Feigenholtz said.

"For every dollar we spend on substance abuse treatment we save seven somewhere else in our state budget," she added.

The state's alcohol tax currently sits at $0.185 per gallon of beer, $0.73 per gallon of wine, and $4.50 per gallon of spirits. The St. Louis Dispatch's Springfield bureau has a little more on what this all could mean:

The plan is being touted as a “nickel-a-drink” proposal. What that means in real figures, according to the bill language, is more than doubling the current alcohol tax rates, bumping up beer by about 53 cents a gallon (it’s currently taxed at about 18 cents); wine up from the current 73 cents a gallon to $2.01; and spirits up from $4.50 a gallon to $8.77.

The tax increase would be expected to raise in the neighborhood of $254 million annually for the aforementioned funds.

Update: Our stalwart beer guy, Chuck Sudo, pointed out that, according to this post at the Capitol Fax Blog, beer is not included in the new tax proposal.