Slouch Sixpack passed along this interesting little map created by the Tax Foundation. It shows the beer excise tax rates by state and, lo and behold, Alabama has the worst rates in the lower 48 (shocking, I know!). Compare Alabama’s $1.05 rate to Oregon’s $0.08 rate (over 13 times (!) lower), and you can probably guess which state is a craft beer mecca and which is JUST starting to emerge from the dark ages of the Big Beer Hegemony.
Thankfully, with grass-roots organizations like Free the Hops helping to tear down some of the draconian restrictions that used to be in place in Alabama (including, we hope, the beer bottle-size restriction with this year’s Gourmet Bottle Bill), the craft beer industry is starting to ramp up in the state. But with excise taxes like these, we’ve still got a loooooong way to go before we can ever truly be considered a craft beer destination.
For those curious, Alabama’s tax code was intentionally designed quite some time ago to benefit the wealthy and hurt the poor (again, shocking!). The state has some of the worst sales taxes in the nation which means the poor have to spend significantly higher percentages of their income buying things like groceries and beer.
Yet, Alabama has some of the lowest income taxes in the nation (at least amongst states that HAVE income tax) and is battling Louisiana for the state with the lowest median property taxes.
The lesson, as always, it’s good to be a rich landowner in Alabama. Everyone else? Not so much.