Enough is enough on tax increases

Published 8:41 am Wednesday, April 24, 2013

AP wire stories about two bills in the state Legislature to increase our taxes in the March 6 paper really got my attention. How much is enough? Now on top of proposals for broadening sales taxes, increasing tobacco taxes and income taxes on the so-called wealthy, there are proposals to raise taxes on beer, wine and liquor, as well as gas and license plates.

I looked at House File 885, which establishes yet another special fund, the “Alcohol Health and Judicial Impact Fund” and raises taxes on liquor 254 percent, wine 767 percent, 3.2 beer 482 percent, and strong beer 251 percent.

The slant in the reporting is clever.

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“Wine excise taxes would go up about 9 cents a glass and liquor taxes would increase about 10 cents.”

It makes it look so insignificant. How about a case of beer? Current tax is about 33 cents a case. Under the proposal it would be $1.17. Since the excise tax is paid by the brewer, his cost has just gone up by 84 cents a case, and to maintain his profit margin his selling price must go up more than that. And on it goes with the distributor and the retailer. By the time that case gets to the store it’s could be an extra $3 to $4. The tax on the distiller of your liter of vodka will go from $1.33 a liter to $4.71. That $3.38 increase could turn into a $7 to $8 increase in the store. And don’t forget, you pay an additional state 2.5 percent alcohol sales tax on top of the 6.875 percent regular state sales tax and the 0.5 percent watershed tax.

Wake up, voters. The Democrats who are running things in St. Paul want more and more of our money so they can spend it on expanding programs, bureaucracies and regulations. They must be told we can’t afford it.


Larry Forster
Riceland Township