Legislative Victories 2009

Alcohol Justice

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formerly Marin Institute

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Legislative Victories 2009

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Tax and Alcopops bills signed into law and expected to have a positive impact on public health.


Illinois Senate Bill 349 and Illinois House Bill 255

Summary: The enactment of both bills increases the tax on manufacturers and importing distributors beginning September 1, 2009. Increases: wine from $0.73 per gallon to $1.39 per gallon; spirits from $4.50 per gallon to $8.55 per gallon; and beer from $0.185 per gallon to $0.231 per gallon.
Sponsor (s): Senators John M. Sullivan (D-Rushville); Donne E. Trotter (D-Chicago); Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago)
Signed by Governor on 7/13/2009. Effective September 1,2009.

Kentucky House Bill 144

Summary: Lifts exemption and imposes 6% sales tax upon alcoholic beverages from April 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010.
Sponsor (s): Representatives Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonberg); David Watkins (D-Henderson); Rocky Adkins (D-Sandy Hook)
Signed by Governor on 2/13/09.

Massachusetts 2010 Budget

Summary: Ends the tax-exempt status of alcoholic beverages, now subject to the state's new 6.25% sales tax.
Effective July 1, 2009.

New Jersey Senate Bill 2013 and Assembly Bill 4104

Summary: Increases the tax rate on alcoholic beverages, including liquor from $4.40 per gallon to $5.50 per gallon, and wine from $0.70 per gallon to $0.875 per gallon. The funds raised by the tax increases will go to the Health Care Subsidy Fund.
Sponsor (s): Senator Lorreta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) and Assemblymember John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex)
Signed by Governor on 6/29/09.

New York Governor’s 2009-2010 (Executive Budget Proposal)
Summary: Beer excise tax increased from $0.11 to $0.14 per gallon; Wine excise tax increased from $0.1893 to $0.30 per gallon. Passed and Governor signed on April 7, 2009.
Effective date: May 1, 2009.

North Carolina Budget
Summary: Beer tax increased from $0.53 cents to $0.617 per gallon, while wine increased from $0.21 to $0.264 cents per liter. The state-controlled spirits tax rate increased from 25 to 30 percent.

Oregon Surcharge on Distilled Spirits
Summary: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission imposed a temporary 50-cent surcharge per bottle on distilled spirits products and a 25-cent surcharge on minis, effective April 1, 2009 through June 30, 2011. The increase is intended to offset the compensation cuts to liquor agents as part of the 2007-2009 budget rebalance. Depending on sales, the surcharge is expected to generate at least $27 million through the next two years. Additional revenue generated from the surcharge is expected to benefit the state’s general fund.


Montana Senate Bill 438

Summary: Regulates sale of alcoholic energy drinks. Specifically defines a “caffeinated or stimulant-enhanced malt beverage.” The term is then included as being a type of liquor, and excluded from a type of “beer.”
Sponsor (s): Senators Carol Juneau (D-Browning), Sharon Stewart-Peregoy (D-Crow Agency), and Representative Shannon Augare (D-Browning)
Passed both Senate and House (3/16/09). Signed by Governor 3/25/2009. Effective date October 1, 2009.

Virginia House Bill 2597

Summary: Mandates the ABC Board to adopt regulations requiring that off-premises retail licensees place premixed alcoholic energy drinks in the same location as where wine and beer are available for sale within a licensed premises.
Sponsor (s): Delegate G. Glenn Oder (R-Newport News), Senator Harry B. Blevins (R- Chesapeake)
Passed House and Senate 2/18/2009. Signed by Governor 2/25/2009. Effective July 2009.