Increasing the State tax rates for alcoholic beverages in Maryland from $1.50 to $4.50 per gallon for distilled spirits, from 40 cents to $1.20 per gallon for wine, and from 9 cents to 54 cents per gallon for beer; expressing the State tax rates for alcoholic beverages alternatively as 89.1843 cents for each 0.75-liter container of distilled spirits, 23.7825 cents for each 0.75-liter container of wine, and 5.0625 cents for each 12-ounce container of beer; etc.
In short, the bill would triple taxes on spirits and liquor while increasing beer taxes sixfold! I’m not sure how this compares to other states, but I do know that alcohol is in general one of the most taxed commodities in the country. I’m not opposed to taxes – hey, I’m a liberal – but geezus, this seems like overkill.
According to a national study conducted by Standard and Poor for the Beer Institute, taxes represent 44% of the retail price of beer. This compares to 33% for bread and 36% for boats. That’s right boats, a luxury item for most people, are less taxed than beer, which is consumed by about 50% of Americans and delivers lots of known health and nutrition benefits (read my book for more on beer and health).
Click here to find your Maryland delegates and let them know what you think about this proposed tax.