Once again, a proposal calls for a massive tax increase for Oregon’s breweries
In 2021, a failed proposal called for a 27-fold increase in Oregon’s beer excise tax. In 2020, another failed proposal called for a 9-fold increase. But proponents of House Bill 3312 remain undeterred.
This time, supporters of the tax hike are seeking an increase from $2.60 per barrel to $33.60 per barrel on the beers Oregon’s breweries produce. The proposal would see the tax increase stretched across five years. The excise tax increase would directly impact the state’s beer, wine, cider, and spirits producers.
Supporters of the tax hike are led by two groups: Oregon Recovers and the Oregon Alcohol Policy Alliance. Those groups want to see the increase in tax revenue used to reduce consumption levels, suggesting that alcohol consumption is part of the larger, growing substance addiction and abuse issue. The revenue generated by the new tax rate would help fund substance abuse programs and also help curb alcohol consumption, proponents assert.
The proposal is expected to get some powerful support in the Oregon House of Representatives. Reportedly, Tawna Sanchez (D-Portland) will sponsor the bill. Representative Sanchez is a co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee, which holds a lot of power–the ability to fund, or not to fund, any other proposals.
Opposing the proposed tax hike, the Oregon Beverage Alliance is gearing up for battle. The Alliance includes members of the state’s beer, wine, cider, and spirits industries. Businesses in those industries are numerous and spread out across the state. The Oregon Beverage Alliance is a substantial force in the legislative halls of Salem.
The Washington Beer Blog will keep an eye on House Bill 3312 as it advances, or fails to advance, in the Oregon legislature. For now, we just wanted you to know that that battle continues. Read more about the proposal at Willamette Week.