What could drive beer prices higher? More taxes

As if the rising cost of ingredients weren’t already driving beer prices high enough it appears lawmakers have plans to add on more taxes.

Miller’s Brew Blog reports:

Miller Brewing Company’s top lobbyist warned distributors gathered here that Washington may look at boosting the federal excise tax in 2009.

The scheduled expiration of the Bush tax cuts and ongoing budget issues “will create a tax fight that we have not seen in this town for over 15 years and will probably produce the largest tax bill and rewriting of the tax code since the days of Ronald Reagan and Dan Rostenkowski,” Timothy Scully told Miller distributors attending the National Beer Wholesalers Association’s legislative conference on Tuesday.

And in North Carolina the governor wants to raise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol to help pay for teacher raises and mental health reform.

Raising the tax on beer “four cents a can” would make North Carolina’s beer tax the second-highest state-levied tax in the country. Currently the state is fourth.