HB 1604 amendment: “Indiana wants to raise excise taxes 100%.”

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I’ve been in this business long enough to know that there is no rationality when it comes to the taxation of alcoholic beverages, and there probably never will be. In hard times, we get stuck harder.

That’s the way it has been, and will continue to be. It’s also the reason that I remain hypersensitive to the moralizing and hypocrisy of groups like Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana (ROCK), whose advocacy of the glories of past repression will at some point include breweries within the imperative of burning sinners, at which time luminous entities like New Albany’s city council might finally grasp the nature of the slippery slope they’re cascading down.

To be honest, it would be far easier for me to accept such an excise tax increase if the wizards populating Indiana’s legislative branch would be consistent and treat small breweries the same as small wineries. It would be easier still if political gladhanding didn’t result in property tax breaks to rental property owners like Pat Harrison, who insist that their profit-making activity isn’t a business, but is more deserving of favors than mine, even as my business (I don’t deny what it is) pays a point higher than hers.

See yesterday’s “Clere: An objection and a question” for more.

If some of the largesse comes back to the community in the form of economic development assistance, then I might bear the tax increase with a tad more equanimity, although I’d rather write my check to the city than to the state. I’d hate to see some of the percentage leak away during the trip up I-65 and back.

Meanwhile, the following is reprinted from the Hoosier Beer Geek blog.

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Indiana wants to raise excise taxes 100%

We don’t get all that political here at Hoosier Beer Geek, but this one really gets under my skin, and I had to post this tonight in hopes that we might be able to make a difference before Thursday’s vote.

This Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee will be considering an amendment to HB 1604 which increases the excise tax on Alcohol by 100% to help fund the Marion County Capital Improvement Board shortfall caused by the Pacers, Colts and Convention Center operating losses. In an effort to gain support for the idea, the anticipated $42 million increase in alcohol taxes would be distributed statewide to cities and towns throughout Indiana on a population basis for economic development initiatives. Only Indianapolis ‘ portion ($8 million annually) of this increase would go to the Marion County Capital Improvement Board.

Call your State Senator and Representative and tell them:

NO NEW ALCOHOL TAXES!!

House Switchboard: 800-382-9842

Senate Switchboard: 800-382-9467

Call the numbers above and ask for the Senator or the Representative below and let them know raising alcohol taxes is not the way to pay for the losses that the Indianapolis sports teams have accrued. Already, 46% of the cost of beer today is taxes, and in no way would it be fair to increase that amount.

This is the aim of House Bill 1613: DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Increases alcoholic beverage excise taxes. Increases the beer and cider excise tax from $0.115 to $0.65 per gallon. Increases the wine excise tax from $0.47 to $2.07 per gallon. Increases the liquor excise tax from $2.68 to $6.95 per gallon. Provides that each of the funds that receives these excise taxes will receive the same percentage of the new rates as the percentage it receives under the existing rates.

You can verify who your Senator or Representative is by going to the following site: www.capwiz.com/la and entering your address. This will give you the information you need to call or email your Senator or Representative

You can also email by going to this address: http://axetaxesnotjobs.com/

That page is sponsored by Diageo, but it does make it very easy to find and contact your Senator, state rep, and the Governor.

What are you thoughts about this legislation?

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