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Sunday, January 21, 2007

What Are They Thinking?: Think Tank Says Raise Michigan Beer Taxes

The Center for Michigan thinks that beer drinkers should shell out a little more for each draught to help close a budget gap for the state. The think tank would like to see the $6.30 per barrel state tax -- last raised in 1962 -- increased to as much as $39 a barrel to catch up with inflation.

The group points out that tobacco taxes have been increased six times since the last beer tax hike, making it high time for beer drinkers to pony up. Taxes on wine and liquor have also been increased twice since the last time beer taxes were increased.

If the beer tax was indexed to keep up with inflation, Michigan would go from collecting $44 million from suds sales to $240 million. It would cost consumers 10-cents for each 12-ounce bottle they purchase.

Predictably, the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association is against the tax increase, saying beer is already taxed at a higher rate than neighboring states. Consumers also pay a 6 percent sales tax on beer purchases.

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