Home
Search
Sign up to receive Action Alerts and eNews  join button horiz                                         Stay Connected 

$182.5 Billion Alcohol Tax Proposed to President Obama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      
       Contact:  Michael Scippa (415) 548-0492
                              Jorge Castillo (213) 840-3336
 

$182.5 Billion Alcohol Tax Proposed to President Obama
“We’ll Fall off the Fiscal Cliff Without a Beer Barrel Tax Increase,” says Alcohol Justice CEO

San Francisco, CA (November 29, 2012) – Alcohol Justice presented President Barack Obama, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and key Congressional budget leaders with a plan today to raise up to $182.5 billion in new revenue over the next 10 years. The proposal’s key element – a substantial alcohol tax for beer, wine and spirits – has the potential to fill 11.8% of the $1.55 trillion new revenue portion of the President’s stated $4 trillion deficit reduction goal.

“Alcohol taxes should at least reimburse the federal government for the cost of alcohol-related health and public safety services,” stated Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director/CEO of Alcohol Justice in his letter to the nation’s budget leaders.

Alcohol Justice released a detailed economic analysis of four scenarios for alcohol tax increases, starting from $11.9 billion new revenues over ten years by simply adjusting alcohol taxes for inflation. At the high end, Alcohol Justice strongly recommends increasing taxes a dime per drink on spirits, 15 cents for beer, and 18 cents for wine, totaling $183.5 billion when indexed for inflation. Since 1991 the federal government has lost $57 billion in revenues for failing to index alcohol taxes to inflation. The proposal also promotes taxing beer and wine like spirits, based on ethyl alcohol proof volume, a public health improvement that links taxes to harm. 

“We’ll fall off the fiscal cliff without a beer barrel tax increase,” Livingston added. “We believe the $182.5 billion in new revenue is a fair contribution to deficit reduction that will help us avoid more onerous taxes or spending cutbacks. We would bet President Obama and Congressional leaders a case of non-alcoholic cider that any poll will show beer taxes more favorable than eliminating the mortgage deduction or gutting Medicare.”

A peer-reviewed study of alcohol harm estimated that alcohol consumption annually costs American society $223.5 billion (2006 estimate), of which government’s cost is $94.2 billion. The article, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2011, shows alcohol is unlike other commodities because it causes harm to the general public and costs to government through its consumption.

Along with helping to avoid more draconian budget cuts, Alcohol Justice is dedicated to reversing the catastrophe of alcohol-related harm by reducing excessive consumption and providing needed funds to mitigate harms. “While the total harmful cost of alcohol to the country is equal to $1.90 per drink, and the government’s share is 80 cents, current federal and state alcohol taxes are less than 8 cents per drink,” said Livingston. “Clearly, DISCUS and the Beer Institute have been very effective in minimizing their taxes and fees and avoiding their fair share.” 

“The U.S. beer tax is 1/6 the rate of the United Kingdom beer tax,” wrote Livingston. “This makes beer the booze of choice for price-sensitive U.S. youth. With a higher proof tax rate youth consumption will be reduced and thousands of underage lives will be saved annually.

For additional information and the full report, please visit AlcoholJustice.org. To send a letter of support for an alcohol excise tax increase to the President and Congressional leaders go to: The Alcohol Justice Grassroots Action Center. Alcohol Justice is a 25 year-old alcohol industry watchdog based in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.

###

PUBLIC HEALTH NOT PUBLIC DRINKING

COVID-19 alcohol deregulation must not become the new normal!

text REGULATE to 313131 to tell your governor to fight alcohol deregulation under COVID-19

 
• Alcohol makes individuals more vulnerable to CoVID-19.
• Superspreader events happen during indoor gatherings like at bars and clubs.
• Deregulation will be hard to roll back even after the pandemic is over.

Tell your Governor to make public health and safety essential, not industry profits.

CLICK to TAKE ACTION, or text "REGULATE" to 313131

FEATURED PUBLICATIONS

NEW FROM ALCOHOL JUSTICE 
The cover of the Los Angeles County Shelter-In-Place Survey report
THE ALCOHOL SIP (SHELTER-IN-PLACE) SURVEY 
Alcohol use in Los Angeles County under lockdown
(co-published with the Institute for Prevention Strategies)

Recent publications
THE HIGH COST OF THE 4 A.M. BAR BILL

click to download

IN THE DOGHOUSE

babe wine engages in covidwashing while targeting vulnerable women and using sports to sell to underage youth

Babe Wine: Condescending, Concetrated, and #COVIDwashed

AB InBev's newest product uses proven schemes to target youth, but turns it on young women during quarantine.

READ MORE...

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY

californiaCA Alcohol Legislation
All legislation related to alcohol policy in Sacramento. Includes analysis & position letters from AJ & CAPA.


Narcan Kit VsmallNEW!  CA Opioid Legislation
CA bills concerning opioid and overdose prevention, recovery, and treatment.



all bills from every state and federalNationwide Legislative Tracking
State-by-state and federal bills relevant to AJ projects/campaigns.




ADVOCACY TOOLS

Tax Calculator
              Legislative Activity
              Fact Sheets