pulsewidth modulation wrote:Stu Levitan wrote:Pol brews up beer tax hike
April 5, 2005
A legislator has proposed increasing Wisconsin's beer tax from $2 to $3 per barrel to provide funds for alcohol abuse treatment provided by counties.
Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, said Monday the boost would be only 2 cents per six-pack and "isn't a hardship for anybody."
She said her proposal would keep a tax break for small breweries and brew pubs, which pay half of the $2 tax on the first 50,000 barrels they brew.
are you serious??? this is wisconsin. we live and die by the drink, and we're proud of it.
you know what people in this state really need stu? property tax relief. when are you going to talk about saving money, not pointless ideas on how to spend more of it all the time?
Well, I think most people would disagree with your assertion that programs to combat alcohol abuse are "pointless." We could probably start with everyone who's known an alcohol abuser, which, in case you weren't aware, is an awful lot of Wisconsinites. And one way to provide property and income tax relief is by putting fees or taxes on specific behavior that relates to the programs being funded. It's not a moral issue, it's economics. You do something voluntarily that costs the rest of us money or creates adverse consequences for society, you should help pay for it. That's why the hunters and anglers support increased hunting and fishing fees, to ensure that their activity has a stable funding source beyond general taxes. That's why costs are imposed on parties that use the courts, why people who own a vehicle pay a license fee, and so on. I mean, come on -- the tax hasn't been adjusted since 1969, and you think it's at the correct level? You don't think alcohol abuse -- which implicitly connotes some level of excessive profit -- puts costs on society through increased crime and health care burdens? Sure, not everyone who drinks beer is an alcohol abuser. But everyone who drinks benefits from the operation of a society that provides for the industry and lets them drink (not always the case, remember). So they all have a stake in alcohol being a responsible part of that society. Do you really think TWO CENTS ON A SIX-PACK is burdensome? You really think a restaurant is going to reprint its menus to raise a glass of beer a nickle? As Johnny Mac would say, "you canNOT be serious!"