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January 29, 2008

A higher beer tax?

Volker Stewart from the Brewer's Art sent me a heads up about this potential tax increase on gas and alcohol.

His thoughts:

"I think this is patently unfair. Not only does it triple taxes on booze and wine, but it actually sextuples the beer tax. We need to raise awareness of this so that folks can take action." 

(Photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor/Sun Photographer) 


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:50 AM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Bars & Clubs
        

Comments

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

Why am I not surprised that this bill is coming out of Montgomery County.

But, seriously, how much is the beer tax now?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: democracy just doesn't work.

Sam, you have NO idea what you have unleashed here! Brace for all the MOM/Ehrlich poison that's over on he Sun's talk forums!

"Maryland’s tax on beer of 9 cents per gallon was tied for fifth lowest among the 50 states and Washington, D.C., according to a survey taken about a year ago by the Washington anti-tax group Tax Foundation. Maryland’s tax on wine and spirits ranked 11th and tied for fourth lowest, respectively."

I am fairly curious as to how this compares with our current tobacco tax levels - which have been raised pretty consistently since the stone age.

For comparison's sake, Maryland's gas tax is above 20 percent. I don't think a few extra cents on a pint is going to break anyone here. If this is your whine, I really suggest putting it to better use.

This will be an additional hardship on smaller beer businesses. With the additional fixed cost increases associated with the nationwide hops shortage, there will be dramatic increases already in the cost of your pint, bottle, case, and/or keg. This is just an additional excuse for the MD legislature to avoid making efficiency cuts in the broken system. Megabrewers like Bud will be able to absorb some of this cost and still do fairly well. It doesn't bode well for the little guy.

This actually sounds like an additional excuse for someone to rant about "big government" etc etc...

While it may not break anyone, the point is (for me anyway) that these tax hikes are almost always permanent. Even if we had budget surpluses for the next 10 years it would more than likely never be repealed.

mmmmm...according to the article linked, this tax increase is being used to offset a separate tax repeal.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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