Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Wausau Herald is a little bit preoccupied with the Tavern League, it seems.

The Wausau Daily Herald published not one, not two, but three stories about the Wisconsin Tavern League and the proposed higher beer tax yesterday.

The two on the Tavern League were nearly identical: they’re big, they’re bad, they’re powerful, they’re flexing their muscles in state government.

Well, hey, you do that many 12-ounce curls, and carry those barrels in and out all day, you build some muscles, y'know?

I enjoyed this part of the story about the beer tax:

The last time the Legislature approved a hike to the beer tax was 1969. Several members of the current Legislature weren't even alive to see that hike take effect.
Yeah, they don't dare raise that tax while I'm around.

Today, as it did in 1969, Wisconsin levies a $2 tax on every 31-gallon barrel sold, or six-tenths of a cent per 12-ounce serving.

Compared with other Wisconsin taxes, the beer tax in minuscule.

For example, smokers in Wisconsin pay a $1.77 per-pack tax.

A beer drinker would have to down nearly 300 cold ones to pay as much as a single-pack smoker.

The beer tax is even smaller compared with the taxes drivers pay on gasoline.

Wisconsin's gas tax is 32.9 cents a gallon, so a person who fills up her car with 12 gallons pays about $3.95 in state taxes.

A drinker would have to consume more than 650 beers to pay as much tax as a driver does with just one fill-up.
So since we way over-tax for those things, we should way over-tax for other things, too?

Wisconsin has the third-lowest beer tax in the nation. Its neighboring states all have beer taxes two to three times higher. Only Wyoming and Missouri levy lower beer taxes.
Fine states, Wyoming and Missouri. I've always admired them.

Dale Knapp, research director of the Wisconsin Taxpayer's Alliance, said Wisconsin's low beer tax, probably can be attributed to the past strength of the state's brewing industry...
Low taxes and industrial strength...linked? Has he been talking to Barbara Lawton?

...and the role of drinking in Wisconsin life.

For example, South Carolina's beer tax, At 77 cents a gallon, is more than 12 times higher than Wisconsin.

Knapp said attitudes about drinking probably are different in the Southern state.
I'm no expert on South Carolina, but I did live there - at Ft. Jackson - for a few months. You couldn't buy alcohol at all on Sundays. Other than that, seemed like people drank as much as anyplace else.

In fact, that's true of all the places I've lived.

I understand that people want Wisconsin to be the absolute best in everything - #1 in every single category - but maybe just this once, just with this one tax, we could be satisfied somewhere lower in the rankings.