Wisconsin heresy?

Legislator proposes raising beer tax

Apr 5, 2005 - A Wisconsin legislator is bucking Wisconsin's reputation as a beer-loving state by proposing an increase in the tax on beer.


Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, wants to boost the tax from $2 to $3 per barrel (a barrels is 31 gallons) to provide funds for alcohol-abuse treatment provided by counties. She said the boost would be only 2 cents per six-pack and "isn't a hardship for anybody."

But Rep. Jim Kreuser, the Assembly Democratic leader from Kenosha, said Assembly Democrats "will not support tax increases" on beer and cigarettes.

Berceau called the beer tax a user fee, stating those who make and sell beer "bear some of the responsibility for the problems that their product creates."

She said her proposal would keep a tax break for small breweries and brewpubs, which pay half of the $2 tax on the first 50,000 barrels they produce.