Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Measure Proposes Increase in Alcoholic Beverage Taxes

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Measure Proposes Increase in Alcoholic Beverage Taxes

Article excerpt

beverage taxes to collect about $7 million for alcohol and drug prevention and treatment programs is being co-authored by State Rep. Vickie White, D-Norman, and Sen. Kelly Haney, D-Seminole.

A second measure co-authored by the two would divert about $7 million in excise tax revenues to a special drug and alcohol abuse prevention fund within the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

The resolution would change the distribution of excise taxes collected on the sale of liquor and mixed drinks to apportion 16.5 percent of the revenues to the fund, White said.

The proposed "user fee" on alcoholic beverages would amount to about a penny per glass of mixed drinks and alcohol, according to figures provided by the Oklahoma Association on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

It would increase alcohol taxes by the following amounts:

- Spirits - from $1.47 per liter to $1.76.

- Light wine - from 19 cents a gallon to 23 cents.

- Wine with more than 14 percent alcohol content - from 37 cents to 44 cents.

- Sparkling wine - from 55 cents a gallon to 66 cents.

- Beer with more than 3.2 percent alcohol content - from $12.50 a barrel to $15.

Beer containing 3.2 percent alcohol would be unaffected, because it is currently not classified as an intoxicating beverage, White said.

Voters would have to approve the proposed tax on alcoholic beverages.

The $7 million revenue from the new tax would replace the $7 million diverted to the mental health department, she said. …

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