News Oregon Considers Raising Tax on Alcohol – But Study Shows Minimal Positive Impact

A study commissioned by the state of Oregon has found that raisng the tax on alcohol would do little to decrease heavy drinking and the negative impacts of drinking. But the study was never released.

The study found that increasing Oregon’s excise tax on beer and wine could raise hundreds of millions for the state and reduce public alcohol consumption overall – but that increased taxes and cost of alcohol would have little of any impact on consumption by the heaviest drinkers, who disproportionately account for the high societal costs of alcoholism.

Oregon’s Health Authority commissioned the study in 2021 for a cost of $60,000.

The report determined that if Oregon increased the excise tax on wine and beer to 20 cents per standard drink, essentially raising Oregon’s tax from one of the lowest in the nation to one of the highest, it would reduce overall alcohol consumption by about 5%. But the state’s heaviest drinkers would likely lower their consumption by about 2%.

Meanwhile, the Oregon legislature has convened a task force to evaluate whether to raise beer and wine taxes in the state. The task force, made up of 20 lawmakers, alcohol industry representatives and substance use recovery advocates, will issue recommendations no later than September.

More on the story here.

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