WI Assembly Bill 287

14th October 2009

Big day in Madison yesterday, at least for proponents and opponents of WI Bill 287 which proposes to raise the state beer tax on the producers from $2/barrel to $10/barrel.  Yowza!  A 400% increase before the product reaches the consumer.  Imagine with the distributors and retailers taking their necessary mark-ups how much that will end up costing the responsible consumer.  Why raise the tax?  Well, it hasn’t been raised in 40 years and the income will be a good revenue source for increased law enforcement and substance abuse programs.  Or so the proponents’ logic goes.  Those in the industry arguing against this hike don’t disagree that substance abuse and drunk driving are bad things.  However, many Wisconsin breweries and retailers, especially smaller businesses, realize the multiplier effect of this tax on the consumer and the cost of beer shipped out of state – which will now be doubly taxed, first in Wisconsin then in the state where it’s going – and remain concerned that such a drastic increase in the tax will put Wisconsin produced beers at a competitive disadvantage.  As proposed, WI Assembly Bill 287 will result in numerous negative impacts including more Wisconsin-based job losses.    To learn more, check out this article in the Isthmus: http://www.isthmus.com/daily/article.php?article=27156, and www.jsonline.com.