According to a well-written article by Elizabeth Dinan on Seacoastonline (a Portsmouth guide for Seacoast New Hampshire and Southern Maine), Rep. Charles “Chuck” Weed, D-Keene, is co-sponsoring a bill that proposes a 10-cent-a-gallon increase to the beer tax (along with fellow Democrat Richard Eaton of Greenville). Says Dinan: “About 43 million gallons of beer were sold in New Hampshire during the last fiscal year, and it was taxed at a rate of 30 cents a gallon, raising a total of $12.8 million in beer taxes. Boost that beer tax by a dime per gallon and the state would raise another $4.2 million, which could be used for alcohol prevention and treatment programs, suggests [the state rep], with a stipulation that the millions in extra revenue be used by the Department of Health and Human Services for alcohol treatment programs.”
The beer tax is imposed on licensed wholesalers, manufacturers, brew pubs and nanobreweries, then passed on to consumers. Apparently, the bill doesn’t propose a tax increase on wine or hard liquor, both of which are regulated and sold by the state. The bill’s already stirred up a few unhappy craft brewers.
We quote the article: “Smuttynose Brewery owner Peter Egelston called the proposed beer tax increase ‘a combination of bad social policy and very bad economic policy.’ For starters, he said, the proposal is, ‘a chicken (expletive) way to raise taxes.’” Read the rest here.