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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Anyone remember the recipe?

For bathtub gin, that is. One wonders what the behavioral response to the following California proposal would be:
A measure that would raise the excise tax on a 750 ml bottle of wine from 4 cents to $5.11 has been cleared for circulation by the Secretary of State. Proponents can begin collecting the 433,971 signatures needed to put the initiative on the November ballot.

The measure would push the tax on a six-pack of beer from 11¢ to $6.08, and raise the total tax on a 750 ml bottle of distilled spirits from 65 cents to $17.57.

The additional excise taxes would boost state revenues of between $7 billion and $9 billion annually, with the proceeds going to support alcohol-related programs and services. The Secretary of State predicts that state and local revenues from existing excise and sales taxes on alcoholic will actually fall several hundred million dollars annually, due to a likely decline in consumption.

The official proponents for the measure are listed as Josie Whitney and Kent M. Whitney. They must collect signatures of 433,971 registered voters – the number equal to five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2006 gubernatorial election – in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponents have 150 days to circulate petitions for this measure, meaning the signatures must be collected by August 23, 2010.


I love the (under)-statement "due to a likely decline in consumption." You think!?!? I would argue that the statement should read "due to a likely decline in taxable consumption."

I suppose the two proponents are part of a temperance movement, which is about the only rationale that can explain such massive tax hikes. If you live in California or work in the California wine industry or service industry you have to hope that such an initiative a) can't get the required signatures or b) can't get the necessary votes.

Story here

HT: Christian D.

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