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Alcohol tax hike would tack on $2 to price of 12-pack, opponents say

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Opponents of the recently proposed increase to the state's alcohol excise tax would force distributors and retailers to raise their own prices, according to Minnesota brewers and liquor lobbyists.

As part of the House DFL tax plan, the increase is intended to offset the costs to the state budget associated with alcohol--similar to the cigarette tax.

MPR reports spirits would see a $1.58 per bottle increase, wine would be taxed an additional 47 cents a bottle and the tax on a 12-pack of beer would be 84 cents higher.

Summit Brewing’s Mark Stutrud tells the Associated Press that the increase would quadruple his state tax bill, from $550,000 annually to about $2.3 million. To cover the bill, prices would need to go up. For example, a 12-pack would cost about $2 more.

However, Tax Committee Chairwoman Ann Lenczewski says the final bill will ensure that microbreweries don’t see a tax increase and would hold down the increase for big Minnesota brewers like Summit.

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