Nine States Considering Alcohol Tax Increases

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So far, 2013 is shaping up to be a good year for state proposals to increase alcohol taxes. Eight states have introduced bills this year that would raise the tax rate on some or all alcoholic beverages in their state. Several of the proposed bills, including ones introduced in New York, New Hampshire, and Minnesota, specifically charge for harm by allocating alcohol tax revenues to mitigate the rising costs of alcohol-related harm. Other proposals include Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah, and West Virginia. Even policymakers in Wyoming, the state with the lowest beer tax rate (passed at its current rate in 1935), have indicated an interest in increasing the tax rate in order to bring in more revenue. Increasing alcohol taxes is one of the most effective public policies available to reduce alcohol-related harm, and is consistently associated with decreases in motor vehicle crashes and fatalities, all-cause mortality, violence, and alcoholism. To read more about specific alcohol tax bills introduced in each state, see our Legislative Summary page.