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Huge Tax Increase proposed in Oregon

Feb 17, 2009 - Oregon state lawmakers have proposed a 1,900% increase in the state's tax on beer -- an increase that opponents are calling the single largest beer tax hike in the nation's history.

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The plan would increase the current excise tax on beer in Oregon from $2.60 per barrel to $49.61 per barrel which could amount to an increase of $2 - $4 per six-pack.

The bill's language defends the tax by arguing alcoholism and "untreated substance abuse" costs the state $4.15 billion in lost earnings as well as more than $8 million for health care and nearly $1 billion in law enforcement-related expenditures. Oregon ranks 49th among states in its malt beverage taxation rate, which has not been raised in 32 years, according to HB 2461 which was introduced by Ben Cannon, D-Portland.

Brewers say Oregon's low beverage taxation rate is what makes the state such an attractive place for crafting beers. The state's brewery guild claims it would also amount to the single largest beer tax hike in the nation's history. Oregon ranks next to last among states in its malt beverage taxation rate which hasn't been raised since the 1970s.

Go to the Oregon Brewers Guild web site at http://oregonbeer.org/ for moiré information and how to help the craft brewers of Oregon fight this tax increase.


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