Monday, October 07, 2013

More "Sin Taxes" for Beer Lovers

For lack of a better term, Rep. Jack Draxler, R-North Logan, hates beer drinkers. For the second time in 2013, the "anti-tax" Republican has proposed to run a bill to tie a potential tax increase on the cost of beer to the consumer price index. Earlier this year, Draxler not only tried to jack-up the tax on beer but also tried to increase the markup on liquor and wine that was associated with the beer tax bill.

His reasons are from the same ol' song and dance that you've heard a million times before - cut consumption while feeding the coffers. In fact, economists with the state of Utah said earlier this year that the estimated tax increase would have cut the states revenues by $465,000 a year from reduced drinking, which helped to kill the bill due to "tight economic times".

Draxler was quoted in the Salt Lake Tribune by saying, "I want to index the beer tax to the Consumer Price Index so that every year we don’t in real terms actually have a reduction due to inflation," Draxler said in an interview. "I do think that makes it more palatable. I think it addresses some of the concerns about the bill that was brought up last session."

He notes that last year the CPI was 2.9 percent. That would have raised Utah’s current beer tax of 41 cents a gallon by 1.19 cents if his bill had been in place. "So that would be only pennies [actually less] per sixpack of beer," Draxler says. "So it absolutely is not an oppressive tax, and it would probably raise somewhere around a quarter-million dollars. That’s not a lot of money when you spread it around the state for prevention and treatment programs, but it would help." 

The proposed tax is separate and apart from the sales tax at the retail level, which in Salt Lake County now averages 6.85 cents per dollar purchase.

If this proposed tax is such a minor hit to the consumer's pocket book why is he not going after a true revenue generating consumables? e.g. Soda Pop. You know the answer to that as well as I do. It would mean taxing himself, his family and those of his community that share his particular view on "wise words".

Remind your representatives that an election year is on the horizon and that bullshit "sin taxes" like these are bad for business and bad for Utah. Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, is among those suggesting the possibility of any new taxes are slim at best during the coming 45-day session, which begins in January 2014.  Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, has also said passing any new tax is unlikely in the coming session, given the election cycle.

Here are some links to help you find your Reps.
http://www.utah.gov/government/contactgov.htm
http://le.utah.gov/house2/representatives.jsp

Cheers!

1 comment:

TheChadwick said...

If he wants this tax so badly-- I say we trade him.
1. heavy beer in kegs (of any size).
2. heavy beer and wine in grocery stores.