The Vermont Legislature has passed a bill that will lower taxes on spirits-based ready-to-drink beverages. As in most states, Vermont currently taxes spirit-based RTD’s at the same rate as all other distilled spirit beverages.
Under the bill, taxes on RTD’s would drop from $7.68 per gallon to $1.10 per gallon and could be sold in non-state controlled retail locations that sell beer and wine. The state excise tax on beer is $0.26 per gallon. The bill now sits on Governor Phil Scott’s desk for signature and would become effective July 1, 2022 if signed.
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUSS) has joined forces with state-based spirits trade groups to lower the state excise tax on RTD’s in a number of states across the country in a organized effort to gain better access to market by being regulated and taxed similar to beer. The beer industry has generally opposed such efforts.
More details on the Vermont legislation here.