Kentucky Set To Kick Up Its Booze Tax; Will Other States Follow?


Speaking of ethanol woes, I suspect this sort of thing will be playing out in statehouses across the country: Kentucky, land of fake colonels and real bourbon, is almost certainly jacking its booze tax to increase revenue. Oh the shame of a state known for its booze to be doing this.

The state's reps voted 2 to 1 to impose a 6 percent tax on store sales of beer, wine, and alcohol (the same bill doubles taxes on tobacco, another Kentucky staple). Passage is pretty much assured in the Senate as well.

Arguably worse than the money the tax takes from people's pockets is the bullshit rhetoric it inspires:

"This is not a time for politics," Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, said in making a strong endorsement of the bill during a speech from the floor. "This is a time where we have to create a level of trust between Republicans and Democrats in the legislature and with the governor, even if we haven't had good relationships … in the past."

Whenever a pol says "this is not a time for politics," it's time to run for the hills. Opponents of the increase argue that, among other things, it's wrong and less effective to single out specific products than levy wider taxes. More here.

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  1. If they really wanted to make money, they should tax drugs instead of spending billions to try to stop their sale.

  2. Actually, this might be a good time for that kind of campaign, e.g. “We Can’t Afford Prohibition Anymore!”

  3. I’d rather they didn’t tax drugs…

  4. ‘a 6 percent tax on store sales of beer, wine, and alcohol’

    Not just beer and wine, but alcohol, too!

    If they combined the tax increase on booze with a substantial *decrease* on other taxes (like taxes on food), I would be willing to listen to the explanation. But these ‘sin taxes’ seem to be imposed as a supplement, not a substitute, for the others.

  5. But yes that is a compelling argument

  6. The burgoo has really hit the fan now.

  7. What did you think they were going to do?
    Cut spending?

  8. Wait. Are you telling me that Harlan Sanders wasn’t a real colonel?

    This is an outrage!

  9. Tyler, if they stop throwing non violent drug users & dealers in prison for 5, 10, 20 years, taxation would be a small price to pay.

    Also, they would have to cut spending on the DEA, ONDCP, etc.

  10. What? It cannot be! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  11. “This is a time where we have to create a level of trust between Republicans and Democrats in the legislature and with the governor, even if we haven’t had good relationships … in the past.”

    Translation: It’s time for the people inside government to gang up on the people outside government.

    Madison had it right, the primary political dynamic is not faction versus faction but rather the people versus the state.

  12. Also, they would have to cut spending on the DEA, ONDCP, etc.

  13. The reason there wasnt a sales tax on booze already is the 11% wholesale tax on booze.

    They originally were considering raising that to 20%, but decided to go for the sales tax instead. One idiot actually argued that it wouldnt change demand because customers are already used to paying sales tax so they wouldnt notice the difference.

  14. like taxes on food

    Ky sales tax on food is 0%. Well, unprepared food.

  15. Kentucky colonel is an honorary title bestowed upon individuals by approval of the governor of Kentucky. It is not a military rank, requires no duties, and carries with it no pay or compensation other than membership in the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.

    Nothing fake about them.

  16. That should be the new name of the Libertarian Party–the Anti-Government Party.

  17. Steadman wanted to see some Kentucky Colonels, but he wasn’t sure what they looked like. I told him to go back to the clubhouse men’s rooms and look for men in white linen suits vomitting in the urinals. “They’ll usually have large brown whiskey stains on the front of their suits,” I said. “But watch the shoes, that’s the tip-off. Most of them manage to avoid vomitting on their own clothes, but they never miss their shoes.”

    In a box not far from ours was Colonel Anna Friedman Goldman, Chairman and Keeper of the Great Seal of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. Not all the 76 million or so Kentucky Colonels could make it to the Derby this year, but many had kept the faith, and several days prior to the Derby they gathered for their annual dinner at the Seelbach Hotel.

  18. Because cutting spending is not an option. Yo, Fuck Kentucky (sorry Xeones).

  19. the same bill doubles taxes on tobacco, another Kentucky staple

    Yes, but to be fair it is going from really low to still pretty low; i.e., from 30 cents a pack to 60 cents a pack.

  20. but to be fair it is going from really low to still pretty low

    The alcohol tax was already one of the highest in the nation, however.

  21. Dammit people! I wanna hear some real outrage here! Blantons and Bookers are gonna go up in price!


  22. I’d rather they didn’t tax drugs…

    The faster they tax it, the faster that state police will be prohibited from playing rambo with the houses of drug users.

  23. end prohibition and the savings alone will make up for the shortfalls.

  24. Florida is considering a sun tax. The governor wants bipartisan support, but the cloud lobby is making a stink.

  25. I would not mind being taxed for drugs, as long as it is a usage tax, and used only for the enforcement of the regulations and collection of taxes, therefore it shall remain a low tax. i might even approve a larger tax as long as the money is used for specific reasons, that interact directly with the tax and regulation of drugs, aka treatment.

  26. land of fake colonels

    You have offended me, sir. I demand satisfaction!

  27. One side, Colonel FrBunny, and i shall take the rapscallion in hand, as soon as i’ve dealt with that Jordan scoundrel up yonder thread.

  28. “What’s the matter, Colonel Sandurz? CHICKEN?”

  29. Cut spending?

    Aieeeeeee! It burns! It burrrrns!

  30. This is relevant as the subject is still Kentucky(looks at “Special Master” SugarFree comments).

    Ricky: What, do you own space? No, NASA does.
    [pronounces it “Nay-Saw”]
    Satellite Employee: Naysaw?
    Ricky: Rocket people? Perhaps you’ve heard of them?
    Satellite Employee: It’s NASA!

  31. I mourn for my state. But the liquor tax is needed if you are going to build a new arena for the Cats to lose in, or the long-waited Diversity Center for downtown.

  32. Supposedly there’s good weed in Kentucky. Time to legalize dope!

  33. Wait, is that 2 reps against 1 rep or the reps, as a while, voted at a 2 to 1 ratio? If Kentucky only has three state reps to pay they must be doing something right.

  34. So…this sales tax will only affect sales in Kentucky, right? I’m not going to be paying any more for Woodford Reserve in Indiana? If that’s the case, let Kentucky do whatever they want.

  35. In MA Governor Patrick is trying to add sales tax to liquor, which is already subject to a liquor tax.

  36. Er?k Gabhran Boston, Esq.

    100 reps, 38 senators.

  37. let Kentucky do whatever they want.

    The problem is they arent doing what WE want.

  38. They’re gonna price my Sam Adams out of reach 🙁

  39. 66-34 vote in the state house, 5 democrats against, 6 republicans voting for it.

    My rep voted against. He is an idiot otherwise, but safe. He had a token opponent last year – his first opponent in the general election that I could remember.

  40. Senate committee voted 8-8 on it, one senator changed vote to get it out of committee on a 9-7 vote. Sigh.

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