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Oregon Legislature Wants to Increase Beer Tax by 1600%

It’s not often that I write approvingly of anything posted at Blue Oregon, but to give credit where credit is due, this post by Jeff Alworth is right on the money:

The one thing left to conclude is that this is some kind of moral stand against beer, an intentional effort to damage the industry.  Sinners taxed to reduce the sin, not its cost.   I can’t see any other purpose here.  As good liberals, we consider how solutions like taxation will solve certain problems.  This bill has no clear idea what the problem even is, much less what the cause might be.  Worse, the effect would be to crush local business and damage a beloved part of local culture.  I can imagine reasonable ways in which the state assesses the cost of alcohol, determines who’s responsible for reimbursing the state for this cost, and decides what a reasonable tax would be.  House Bill 2461 is none of these things.

The Oregonian has more:

Never before, it seems, has the climate been so ripe to raise taxes on sin. Democrats command supermajorities in both chambers, which means they can increase taxes without Republican votes.

[...]

[Ben Cannon (D-Portland), chief sponsor of the bill] says he’s willing to talk about the size of the tax and how it should be used. And he’s open to discussing whether legislators should risk even more heartache by going after the tax on wine.

The Oregonian notes that Kulongoski is also pimping an idea to bump the cigarette tax to $1.78 per pack. While I’m disappointed that the outrage at Blue Oregon over the proposed beer tax hike doesn’t seem to be extended to the idea levying an even higher sin tax on smokers, it’s nice to see Jeff Alworth piping up in opposition to this absurd new legislation.

For its part, the Oregon Commentator pledges a campaign of terror and mayhem if this law passes.