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Berceau:Boost Beer Tax

If it's news, but not politics, then it goes here.

Raising beer tax to support alcohol abuse programs:

Good idea
15
56%
Bad idea
12
44%
 
Total votes : 27

Berceau:Boost Beer Tax

Postby Stu Levitan » Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:35 am

Pol brews up beer tax hike

Associated Press
April 5, 2005

A legislator has proposed increasing Wisconsin's beer tax from $2 to $3 per barrel to provide funds for alcohol abuse treatment provided by counties.

Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, said Monday the boost would be only 2 cents per six-pack and "isn't a hardship for anybody."

But Rep. Jim Kreuser, the Assembly Democratic leader from Kenosha, said Assembly Democrats "will not support tax increases" on beer and cigarettes.

Berceau said the current $2 per-barrel tax is the third-lowest in the nation and the lowest of all neighboring states.

The $2 tax was first levied in 1969 and, if adjusted for inflation, would be more than $10 per barrel today, she said.

Despite Wisconsin's reputation as a beer-brewing, beer-loving state, Berceau called raising the tax the "right thing to do."

Beer makers and sellers "bear some of the responsibility for the problems that their product creates," including 300 people killed in alcohol-related accidents each year and 800 who die from alcohol-related disease, she said.

"We've got a drinking issue in this state," she added, calling the beer tax a user fee.

She said her proposal would keep a tax break for small breweries and brew pubs, which pay half of the $2 tax on the first 50,000 barrels they brew.
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Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:38 am

Why not? After all, the gas tax is used to repair roads.
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Postby Beer Moon » Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:12 am

Then let's put a tax on gun sales to pay for gun related injuries in the state.

Why stop with beer?

Let's put a tax on automobiles to pay for the health insurance costs that result from injuries in car crashes. Let's tax gas and other fossil fuels to pay for fixing up pollution problems.

I agree, this is a great policy. Let's extend it to everything. Any user that uses something that people can use illegally should be taxed to pay for the irresponsible people's decisions. Let's put a tax on knives to pay for all the knife injuries!!

This way, only people who use those products will have to pay for the people who misuse those products.
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Postby Dave Lupper » Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:29 pm

Go ahead. Tax the shit out of beer. Don't touch the stuff myself, and it raises tax money I don't have to pay. I think I like it!

Just don't start talking about raising the tax on Vodka though....
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Postby Paco » Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:34 pm

where does the current tax money go? are they running out of it? Are all the accidents and death the cause of beer?
I thought beer sales were slumping, i didn't know it was a problem. Our population is aging(one of the oldesst in the country), and I don't think there's as many beerdrinkers as there were.
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Re: Berceau:Boost Beer Tax

Postby doddles » Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:19 pm


Beer makers and sellers "bear some of the responsibility for the problems that their product creates," including 300 people killed in alcohol-related accidents each year and 800 who die from alcohol-related disease, she said.


I don't have a problem with taxes that makes sense, but this one doesn't. If the idea is for brewers to bear some responsibility for acohol abuse/treatment costs, then the place to put a tax is on dividends and stock sales of brewery shareholders. A tax on beer itself will just be paid by the consumer, not the owners.
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Postby Chuck_Schick » Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:41 pm

Bear tax?! I thought that was gonna be a one time thing!
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Postby gargantua » Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:22 pm

My initial reaction was to vote no....but after reading Berceau's specific proposal, and knowing how low taxes are on beer and how modest this increase is, I can support it. I'm not crazy about it, but I can support the proposal pretty much as Rep. Berceau drafted it.
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Postby elizaram » Tue Apr 05, 2005 4:00 pm

Normally I'm all for vice taxes. Cigarettes? Tax the hell out of them. I'd even support a massive tax hike on gasoline if the proceeds were used to improve local and long-distance mass transit options.

However, I don't consider responsible use of alcohol a vice. Taxing beer to pay for the treatment of alcoholism makes about as much sense to me as taxing groceries to fund the treatment of bulimia.

And why just beer? Why not wine and hard liquor, which can also be abused? Is it because beer is considered a less sophisticated beverage?
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Postby jjoyce » Tue Apr 05, 2005 4:05 pm

I can't believe she played the "user fee" card.
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Postby Daisy » Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:01 pm

And people wonder why the Dems keep being outflanked in the public dialogue...

One has to be a truly visionary pol in WI to go after beer. I'm glad Kreuser has the good sense to not let the GOP position themselves as the defenders of beer drinkers.

And I'd echo the sentiment that it isn't in and of itself a vice. Moderate consumption of beer, like that of wine, has actually been shown to have some positive impact on human health. Whereas any number of other consumer items, including food, can be abused with lack of moderation.

So hey, maybe slap a sin tax on cheese and fish fries, too...:roll:
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Postby Mike S. » Tue Apr 05, 2005 7:46 pm

The problem with all these micro-taxes is that they impose their own paperwork and bureaucracy for fairly little payout - they're like a thief who smashes $5,000 in glass to get $50 in booty. Plus, as has been pointed out, they micro-manage people's lives by screwing with product prices. Simplest thing to do with all these penny-ante little taps on people's money is to scrap them.
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Postby white_rabbit » Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:08 pm

As a consumer of beer I would not be opposed to a tax to support alcohol treatment programs, as long as not one dime of it goes to crazy 12-step pseudo-religious cult programs. AA has a worse recovery record than spontanious recovery. The best recovery record is with Rational-Emotive therapy, ala Albert Ellis.

http://www.smartrecovery.org/
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Re: Berceau:Boost Beer Tax

Postby pulsewidth modulation » Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:19 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:Pol brews up beer tax hike

Associated Press
April 5, 2005

A legislator has proposed increasing Wisconsin's beer tax from $2 to $3 per barrel to provide funds for alcohol abuse treatment provided by counties.

Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, said Monday the boost would be only 2 cents per six-pack and "isn't a hardship for anybody."

But Rep. Jim Kreuser, the Assembly Democratic leader from Kenosha, said Assembly Democrats "will not support tax increases" on beer and cigarettes.

Berceau said the current $2 per-barrel tax is the third-lowest in the nation and the lowest of all neighboring states.

The $2 tax was first levied in 1969 and, if adjusted for inflation, would be more than $10 per barrel today, she said.

Despite Wisconsin's reputation as a beer-brewing, beer-loving state, Berceau called raising the tax the "right thing to do."

Beer makers and sellers "bear some of the responsibility for the problems that their product creates," including 300 people killed in alcohol-related accidents each year and 800 who die from alcohol-related disease, she said.

"We've got a drinking issue in this state," she added, calling the beer tax a user fee.

She said her proposal would keep a tax break for small breweries and brew pubs, which pay half of the $2 tax on the first 50,000 barrels they brew.


are you serious??? this is wisconsin. we live and die by the drink, and we're proud of it.

reading things like this proves "progressive" liberals are sinking THEIR OWN ship one pointless idea after the next.

nickel and dime bureaucracy costs tax payers as well as government more money to administer and enforce while creating little returns via the special program. whats the point?

you know what people in this state really need stu? property tax relief. when are you going to talk about saving money, not pointless ideas on how to spend more of it all the time?
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Postby ShaneDog » Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:37 pm

I'm fine with raising the beer tax, it's not like beer is expensive or anything. Does that apply to all malt liquor beverages (40's and the like?) or just beer?
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