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  1. #1
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    Proposed beer tax hike in Oregon

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    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Sounds big, but when you read closer...

    "Oregon ranks 49th among states in its malt beverage taxation rate, which has not been raised in 32 years"

    "would impose a $49.61 tax on each barrel of beer produced by Oregon brewers"

    (Note: A barrel is 32 gallons.)

    There are 248 pints in a barrel, so the tax would be about $0.20 per pint. Markup will probably be added throughout the supply chain, so it'll probably be a little higher than that.
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  4. #4
    Full Member TerriFalcone's Avatar
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    Beer is one part of the market that has not been negatively impacted by the economic downturn. The increase in tax is not likely to change that.
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  5. #5
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    With the exception of the Blitz-Weinhart brewery in Portland, this all falls on the shoulders of microbreweries (Oregon has quite a few). I don't know what kind of margin they operate on, but I'm guessing it's not huge, so they'll probably have to pass along most of this increase. In the microbrew aisle of grocery stores across the country, Oregon beers will be about 50 cents per six pack less competetive than before, when compared to microbrews from other states. Not to mention competing against specialty brews from giants like InBev/Anheuser-Busch (can't really call them microbrews, but that's the area where they compete).

    It's not a tragedy for us beer drinkers, but if I lived in Oregon I would not be happy about the idea of adding a competetive disadvantage to this sector of in-state small businesses.

    I'm sure it won't kill the Oregon microbrewery industry, but if any of them are operating close to the edge it may be enough to push a few into closing. Oh well, the tax will give the state more funds to pay any resulting unemployment claims from small breweries that happen to go under! [burp]

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It looks like this would bring Oregon from 49th to 1st in terms of beer tax.

    I found this in a recent article:

    "Tennessee now has the highest beer tax in the nation, according to a preliminary review of 2008 data by the Beer Institute. The state and local tax assessed on beer in Tennessee is now $33.25 per 31-gallon barrel, up from $32.28 in 2007."

    At $49.61, Oregon would far exceed that and easily take the #1 spot.

    It took a few searches to find what state has the LOWEST beer tax - it's Wyoming, at $0.59 per barrel!

    Based on the other high-tax states, I think Oregon might be a bit unreasonable, even if it does just amount to $0.20 per pint. When you have the highest tax, you drive business out of the state.
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  7. #7
    Affiliate Network Rep dyiadom's Avatar
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    Is this for for all beers, local and international?

  8. #8
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    The key wording here: "would impose a $49.61 tax on each barrel of beer produced by Oregon brewers" (my emphasis). So presumably anything brought in from out-of-state is not subject to the tax, while everything made in-state (even if shipped outside of Oregon) is hit with the tax.

    Causing Oregon-produced goods to be less competetive against non-Oregon beer, both in-state and out of state. Heck of a way to support their small businesses, eh? Maybe I just love beer and hate taxes, but I fail to see the logic in something that will probably result in some of the smaller breweries going belly up or at least laying off people. If I lived there, I'd be p!$$ed at these legislators.

  9. #9
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    Well ... just buy a Brew You Own Beer Machine from Chris, brew your own and not worry about it.

    The reason Wyoming has such a low beer tax rate ... is that it's hard to drink beer there in the winter since all the beer is frozen.

    Plus, there are more bears than people there and the bears, while they love beer, are a bit relunctant to pay for it and they hibernate for most of the winter.

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