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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.

  1. […] in case you had any faith left in your state government, they’ve gone and done it again. House Bill 3008 aims to force […]

  2. Casey says:

    These fools would kill the golden goose. Oregonians…..don’t let these dirtballs do it. You make good beer up there.

  3. Alex Peters says:

    Another reason for me to challenge Kulongoski to a duel. Such a dick.

  4. Sakaki says:

    I would like to note that all of them are DEMOCRATS.

  5. Kenneth says:

    From the text of the bill:

    Sponsored by Representative CANNON,
    Representative DEMBROW,
    Senator ROSENBAUM

    Call them early and often, and make sure their time spent at the office is unbearable.

  6. Betz says:

    I liked Alworth’s article, although I just find it somewhat unlikely and hard to believe that we have such prohibitionist legislators in Oregon, a state that has recently become somewhat famous for its beer culture and industry.

    I would probably resent it, but I could understand a proposal of a more modest tax increase from $2.60 per barrel to, say, $5.20 per barrel. I just don’t understand where the +1600% increase proposal is coming from, other than just some lawmakers proposing a very poorly thought out bill.

  7. james says:

    This is the most asinine idea ever. Please post the names of all of the legislators supporting this. They should never be allowed to run for office again. And their names should live in infamy.

    F’ing absurd.

  8. t says:

    It was only a matter of time.

  9. Ian says:

    Cripple/kill one of Oregon’s most successful and renowned industries in the middle of a recession? Yes we can!

    This is absolutely insane. And don’t forget that Springfield’s Bill Morrisette is one of the co-sponsors of this garbage.

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