Assemblyman Proposes Taxes on Booze, Adding $1.08 to Cost of Our Lunch


Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, having proposed a tax on strip clubs, now wants to tax alcoholic beverages. As the “pole tax” was meant to fund the state’s anti-human-trafficking efforts, so this tax is supposed to fund “alcoholism and substance abuse prevention and treatment.” Politicker describes Ortiz’ tax as ten cents per drink, but for serious drinkers, the hard figures in his bill tell the story more realistically: $1.08 per gallon of beer (that’s just 128 ounces, or eight tall boys) and $2.63.092 per gallon on wines, $1.23 per liter (!) on “liquors containing not more than twenty-four per centum of alcohol by volume” (?) and $2.26 per liter on other liquors. A Blog for All crunches the numbers: “This would add $1.50 to the cost of a six-pack of beer, including Saranac, Genesee, Blue Point, and Brooklyn Brewing Co (among others) all of which are brewed and distributed in the state (and for which the state already provides tax breaks at NYS Tax Law Sec. 424(6). How many lost sales will occur because of this, along with the loss of revenues to those companies?” Yeah, that’s it — we’re trying to protect businesses here. Now go tax spring water and leave us normal people the hell alone.

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