Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Hefty Hike Proposed For Nebraska Alcohol, Tobacco Taxes


February 14, 2019

If you think Nebraska has high enough taxes on alcohol with beer currently at 31 cents per gallon, it may be time to think again.

A proposed sales tax increase would hike the cost of wine, beer, spirits and tobacco to reduce property taxes throughout the state.

State Sen. Tom Briese, R-District 41, introduced a bill stating that the state sales tax would increase from 5.5 percent to 6 percent. The cigarette tax would go up $1.50 to go with increased taxes on wine, beer and liquor.

“The goal of this provision was to provide property tax relief for hard working Nebraska homeowners and ag producers who cannot pass along their property tax burden by raising revenue from someone else, to an industry who can really pass along that cost,” Briese said.

The alcohol tax rate increase would rise to $1.38 from 31 cents per gallon for beer. Wine would increase to $3.51 per gallon from 95 cents and liquor would increase to $12.28 per gallon from $3.75.

With all of that math, if you just add the tax increase to the cost of your beer for a case of 24 12-ounce cans, the price would increase $3.11.

Wyoming’s current alcohol tax rates are nowhere near even the current Nebraska rates. There beer tax there is only 2 cents per gallon.

No date has been released for this bill to be voted.

More coverage on the proposed Nebraska alcohol tax increase and its possible local effects will appear in the next edition of the Observer.


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