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MN Proposal Could Hike Alcohol Tax 300% - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

MN Proposal Could Hike Alcohol Tax 300%

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Updated 10:00PM

A Minnesota state representative has proposed a tax increase on alcohol that would raise it 300 percent or more.

It's an expensive habit.

Brad Kenyon of Moorhead says, "I couldn't believe it, I thought I misheard."

But the cost of drinking in Minnesota could soon go up.

"I thin it's completely ridiculous," says Kenyon.

A big alcohol tax increase is being talked about it the legislature, with the extra money going towards chemical dependency treatment.

Here's a breakdown:

Spirits
   Current: $5.03 per gallon   Proposed: $17.82 per gallon

Wine
   Current: $.95 per gallon   Proposed: $8.24 per gallon

Beer
   Current: $2.40 per 31-gallon barrel   Proposed: $13.97 per 31-gallon barrel

"I couldn't even afford to drink that," says Andrew Kreft of Fargo.

And Garage Bar owner Allen Schmidt says, they wouldn't be able to handle that.

"I basically put everything that I could think of into this place," says Schmidt.

If the tax hike does go through, owners at the garage bar say a domestic beer would go from $3.75 to about 6 bucks to offset costs from lost business, because customers would be going across the river to drink.

"Why would I pay that when I can pay half as much?" asks Kreft.

"Who's going to come over when you simply can just go across the bridge and get a beer for less than half of that?" asks Schmidt.

Even worse, they may have to turn their open sign off.

"Something like this, it would put us under," says Schmidt.

A likely scenario for many businesses on the border.

"Not only do we lose our jobs, but we have employees that lose their jobs," says Schmidt.

If this tax were to go through, and businesses were able to stay open, they say it's likely prices for food would also go up to offset the increase in the prices for alcohol. For now, we'll wait and see if this makes it through the legislature. This was a heated debate on the house floor, and it's expected to continue after no action being taken just yet.

Original

A new tax increase on alcohol was proposed in the Minnesota legislature last week that could raise the levy by 300 percent. According to the Minnesota Restaurant Association, Senator Chris Eaton (D-Brooklyn Center) wrote this proposal that would raise money to go towards chemical dependency treatment and evaluation. Here's a breakdown of how much taxes on alcohol would go up:

Spirits
   Current: $5.03 per gallon   Proposed: $17.82 per gallon

Wine
   Current: $.95 per gallon   Proposed: $8.24 per gallon

Beer
   Current: $2.40 per 31-gallon barrel   Proposed: $13.97 per 31-gallon barrel

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