MN House Approves Tax Bill 69-64; Feat. Tax Hike on Alcohol

By KBJR News 1

April 24, 2013 Updated Apr 24, 2013 at 7:52 PM CST

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The next time you enjoy a cold one at a Minnesota bar you could be paying more to help make up for the state's budget deficit.

The House approved a $2.6 billion tax package Wednesday night that includes tax hikes for booze.

The Omnibus Tax Bill received a 69 to 64 vote.

House DFL lawmakers on Wednesday discussed a possible seven cent increase on a beer, but lawmakers say it's focused at the wholesale level. At this point it's hard to gauge how much more beer drinkers would have to pay for a drink.

The Restaurant Trade Association is urging the House to reject the bill, saying increased taxes would result in lost jobs without successfully curbing alcohol abuse.

DFL House members say the increase would fuel about $400 million for the budget for the biennium.

The Chair of the Tax Committee says the amount that's passed on to the consumer would be based on how much they choose to drink.

"If you drink, maybe three drinks a week, you're looking at eight to 10 bucks a year. If you're drinking 4 drinks a day, you're looking at 75 to 100 bucks a year," said Rep. Ann Lenczewski (DFL-Bloomington).

Different types of alcohol will be taxed at varying rates under the plan.

DFL'ers in the Senate say they're opposed to the tax.

There are a number of tax hike proposals in the bill including tax increases on tobacco to Minnesota's top earners to help cut the state's $627 million deficit.

Kevin Jacobsen
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