On behalf of National Taxpayers Union’s (NTU) Louisiana members, I urge you to reject H.B. 27 authored by Rep. Kenny Cox. If enacted, the bill would drastically increase the Pelican State’s excise tax on alcohol, which would harm consumers and the state’s economy.
H.B. 27 would increase the excise tax on spirits by $0.25 per liter – from $.66 currently to $0.91; it would raise the tax on sparkling wine by $0.19 per liter – from $0.42 currently to $0.61. Likewise, the proposal would raise taxes on wine with less than 14 percent alcohol by $0.22 per liter – from $0.03 to $0.25, while wine with alcohol content between 14 and 24 percent would see a tax increase of $0.47 per liter – from $0.06 to $0.53. Wine with alcohol content above 24 percent would see a $0.19 per liter increase – from $0.42 to $0.61. Beer, under the proposal, would see a jump from $10 to $13.33 per barrel.
If enacted, it is estimated that these tax hikes would generate between $27 to $28.7 million annually over the next five years for the Pelican State. While Louisiana is facing a serious budget crunch driven by years of over spending and the drop in oil prices, hiking taxes on alcohol is pure fiscal gimmickry. Louisiana, particularly New Orleans, is dependent on tourism and the hospitality industry. These tax hikes would target this vital sector of the state’s economy. Likewise, Louisiana’s bourgeoning craft wineries, distilleries and brewers, which employ thousands of hardworking citizens, would face unnecessary costs from these tax hikes.
Like the Governor’s proposed alcohol excise tax hikes, H.B. 27 is extremely unwise. The Louisiana House and Senate should avoid following the Governor’s lead on this issue. NTU strongly encourages you to reject H.B. 27.
Sincerely,Clark PackardPolicy and Government Affairs Manager