Beer Excise Taxes By State 2015

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Back in 2009, I wrote a post about Beer Excise Taxes By State, based on data from by the Tax Foundation, and they also created a nice map of the 50 states with the individual beer excise tax brewers in each state has to pay in addition to the federal excise taxes, too.

They’ve now updated that map with more recent tax rates as of January 1, 2015. As they note, “[t]ax treatment of beer varies widely across the U.S., ranging from a low of $0.02 per gallon in Wyoming to a high of $1.29 per gallon in Tennessee.” They also acknowledge that “taxes are the single most expensive ingredient in beer, costing more than labor and raw materials combined,” citing an economic analysis that found “if all the taxes levied on the production, distribution, and retailing of beer are added up, they amount to more than 40% of the retail price.”

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Beer In Ads #1332: How Does The Brewing Industry Compare To Other Industries As A Taxpayer?


Friday’s ad is another one from the United States Brewers Foundation, from 1951. This a series of ads they did in 1951 using a Q&A format aimed at highlighting different positive aspects of beer and the brewing industry.

Q
How does the Brewing Industry compare to other industries as a taxpayer?

A
It ranks fourth in excise taxes alone, which amounts to almost $700,000,000 annually.

And as the ad points out, that’s in addition to “the many millions in property, income and corporation taxes paid” by breweries, not to mention state excise taxes.

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Beer In Ads #1331: How Much Does The Brewing Industry Pay In State Excise Taxes?


Thursday’s ad is another one from the United States Brewers Foundation, from 1951. This a series of ads they did in 1951 using a Q&A format aimed at highlighting different positive aspects of beer and the brewing industry.

Q
How much does the Brewing Industry pay in state excise taxes?

A
Last year, state excise taxes on beer amounted to over $193 million.

And that’s in addition to the over $700 million in federal excise taxes, plus all of the other business taxes that every business pays.

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Beer In Ads #1323: How Much Federal Excise Tax Has The Brewing Industry Paid Since Repeal?


Wednesday’s ad is another one from the United States Brewers Foundation, from 1951. This a series of ads they did in 1951 using a Q&A format aimed at highlighting different positive aspects of beer and the brewing industry.

Q
How much Federal excise tax has the Brewing Industry paid since Repeal?

A
More than 7 billion dollars — almost 1 1/2 billion in the past two years.

Trying to put that into perspective, they claim that this amount is twice what the U.S. government spent on the Marshall Plan. Perhaps more impressive, it’s apparently the “fourth largest amount paid by any industry.”

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Beer In Ads #1303: One-Sixth Of A Nation Blowing Away!


Thursday’s ad is another one from the United Brewers Industrial Foundation, again from 1939. This was well before the “Beer Belongs” series, and just before World War II. That “One-Sixth of a Nation Blowing Away!” is referring to the dust bowl of the midwest. But not to worry, it can all be saved, thanks to beer taxes — “a million dollars a day!”

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Beer In Ads #1301: Thanks A Million!


Tuesday’s ad is yet another one from the United Brewers Industrial Foundation, again from 1939. This was well before the “Beer Belongs” series, and just before World War II. The worker, the taxman and the farmer are all saying “Thanks a Million!” for the over one million dollars paid in taxes each and every day by the beer industry. But I especially love this line. “Even the non-beer drinker enjoys beer’s economic benefits!”

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Beer In Ads #1298: Raise An Extra Million Dollars A Day? WHO, ME?


Saturday’s ad is yet another one from the United Brewers Industrial Foundation, also from 1939. This was well before the “Beer Belongs” series, and just before World War II. This one ran in Life magazine, and is an extension of their earlier ads about how much taxes are paid by the brewing industry, over $1 million each day in 1939. And I love their reminder to the American people, with prohibition still fresh in everyone’s mind. “Yes, it’s a Fact: if beer didn’t pay a million dollars a day in taxes, the American taxpayer would have to find an extra million dollars a day to meet the costs of government!” And how about the look on the face of the man representing a typical American taxpayer, with his comically large glasses.

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Beer In Ads #1295: Bill For Taxes


Wednesday’s ad is another one from the United Brewers Industrial Foundation, also from 1939. This was well before the “Beer Belongs” series, and just before World War II. Showing a simple bill template, with a lot of negative space for impact, makes the point just a few years after prohibition ended, that beer was providing quite a lot of money into the economy, over one million dollars each day. According to the CPI Inflation Calculator, $1 million in 1939 would be $17,140,287.77 in today’s money.

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Beer In Ads #1281: How Much Does The Brewing Industry Pay In State Excise Taxes?


Wednesday’s ad is another one from the United States Brewers Foundation, this time from 1951. It’s another ad reminding people, with Prohibition less than two decades in the rearview mirror, that the brewing industry contributes quite a bit to the economy. In this case, the figure is $193 million for state excise taxes from the previous year, 1950, so really that’s just a small part of what the industry contributed to the economy, because it doesn’t include federal excise taxes, or any additional taxes levied on all businesses plus the special taxes reserved for alcohol companies. You just know today that the amount is exponentially higher.

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Beer Excise Tax Rates by State, 2014

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The last time I saw the Tax Foundation look at beer excise taxes was in 2009, but recently they updated their map of Beer Excise Tax Rates by State, for 2014, taking into account several states who changed their rates over that time.

Tax treatment of beer varies widely across the U.S., ranging from a low of $0.02 per gallon in Wyoming to a high of $1.17 per gallon in Tennessee. Check out today’s map below to see where your state lies on the beer tax spectrum.

A few state rates changed since we released last year’s data. Namely, North Carolina’s tax per gallon increased by nine cents, and there were slight increases in Arkansas (+2 cents), Kentucky (+2 cents), and Washington, D.C. (+2 cents). Washington’s tax decreased by 50 cents, and Minnesota’s number was one cent lower than last year. (See the 2013 edition of our Facts & Figures booklet for last year’s numbers.)

There isn’t much consistency on how state and local governments tax beer. This rate can include fixed-rate per volume taxes; wholesale taxes that are usually a percentage of the value of the product; distributor taxes (usually structured as license fees but are usually a percentage of revenues); retail taxes, in which retailers owe an extra percentage of revenues; case or bottle fees (which can vary based on size of container); and additional sales taxes (note that this measure does not include general sales tax, only those in excess of the general rate).

The Beer Institute points out that “taxes are the single most expensive ingredient in beer, costing more than labor and raw materials combined.” They cite an economic analysis that found “if all the taxes levied on the production, distribution, and retailing of beer are added up, they amount to more than 40% of the retail price” (note that this may include general sales tax and federal beer taxes, which are not included in the estimates displayed on the map). Last year, we did a podcast with Lester Jones, Chief Economist at the Beer Institute on tax treatment of beer, which is worth a listen.

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