Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Proposed Oregon Beer Tax Will Kill Us All!!!

If you live in Oregon, like to drink good beer, and don't want to pay $6 a pint for said beer, you're going to want to listen up...

Chances are you've got your ear close enough to the ground to have already heard about OR HB 2461, which was recently introduced into the Oregon legislature. The bill, as written, would increase the excise tax on beer from $2.60 per barrel to $49.61 per barrel. That's an increase of 1900% and, according to Laurelwood's Mike De Kalb by way of KGW, would likely raise the average price of a pint of microbrew to $6.00. Now, if we had a nationalized single-payer health care system, well-funded schools, healthy labor unions, a reasonably well-regulated financial industry and an economy that wasn't burrowing its way toward the center of the Earth, that might be a fair price for a pint. But as it stands, not one of those scenarios is the case. In addition to placing an undue burden on consumers, this tax increase will have a very adverse effect on craft brewers, especially ironic in a state which has garnered a reputation for its small-scale, artisanal producers and independent local businesses. We are simply going to have to take action to stop this bill, which essentially amounts to a sales tax on beer (and as we all know, sales taxes are inherently regressive and impact most those who are least able to bear them). A couple of things that we all need to do:

The first is to sign this petition. Then, we need to contact our respective state senators and representatives and tell them, in tactful but not uncertain terms, how we feel about this. You can find yours here.

That is all. Happy Wednesday, and Cheers!

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