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Beer and Taxes - 40 OZ to Freedom
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Beer and Taxes - 40 OZ to Freedom

01.30.13
Tennessee breweries are quietly pursuing legislation to make the state beer tax more competitive with other states. Tennessee has the notorious distinction of having the highest beer tax in the U.S.

Sin taxes on alcohol are designed to curb consumption of alcohol by raising the price of beer. Tennessee's beer tax does a poor job of accomplishing moderation.

Instead of equally raising the tax on all beer, Tennessee's beer tax is based on the price of beer, making it cheaper to buy cheap beer. The Tennessee tax system actually encourages cost-conscious consumers, like college students, to buy cheap beer, because the tax rate is lower on cheap beer.

Better beer makers pay a higher tax in Tennessee, which for beer aficionados, defies logic. Why should quality beer be taxed at a higher rate than substandard beer that is consumed in mass quantities by binge drinkers for a cheap buzz?

Hand In My Pocket by Alanis Morissette comes to mind:

I feel drunk but I'm sober
I'm young and I'm underpaid
I'm tired but I'm working, yeah
I care but I'm restless



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