Lovely — a tax increase on beer. Potentially damaging to one of Oregon’s healthiest, most innovative industries. This tax feels punitive — what else could it be, asking for funds from the beer industry to alcohol rehab?
From what I’ve seen so far, I’m opposed to this tax, especially in its current form. With the vagaries and nuances of the beer distrubition industry, this sounds like it will wind up an across-the-board tax that’s bad for the beer industry, and for all us beer drinkers.
Then again, there could be some potential here. Fast food could be
taxed, with the revenues going to weight-loss clinics. Guns and ammo
could be taxed, with the revenues going to fund prisons. And patchouli
could be taxed, to provide soap to stank hippies. This might be worth considering after all…
To hear the two sides talk about the six proposals was like listening to entirely different debates. Advocates focused almost entirely on the need to restore shrinking Oregon State Police patrols and to build back the system of treating alcoholics’ addiction and preventing others from becoming problem drinkers. To them, Oregon’s lowest-in-the-nation beer tax (80 cents per gallon) is prime for an increase of a nickel or a dime. But Oregon brewers saw the proposals as an unprovoked assault on the heart of "Beervana," as Oregon is sometimes called because of its reputation for the state’s numerous producers and consumers of regionally brewed craft ales and beers. By their calculations, the six bills discussed before the House Revenue Committee would drive up their taxes by up to 1,235 percent – from $2.60 to $32 per barrel.