Alabama legislature and Gov. Ivey pass bottle on tax hike to ABC Board

Alabama's ABC Board recently approved a 5-percent increase in the state liquor markup, with the proceeds scheduled to go toward funding state district attorneys and courts. R Street's Cameron Smith attempted to unpack the logic behind the Board's decision but found it lacking:

We don't need the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) in Alabama. It's a bureaucratic dinosaur waiting for its extinction-level event. Now, the ABC has done the dirty work of raising taxes for the Alabama Legislature and Governor Kay Ivey.

The ABC approved a 5 percent "markup" on liquor on June 14, 2017. The measure is expected to raise $8.2 million next year. The Alabama legislature conditionally earmarked $6 million of the increase for district attorneys and $2.2 million for the Unified Judicial System.

Don't believe for a minute this is a routine action by the ABC.

Over the last several decades, two of Alabama's 67 counties--Marshall and Calhoun--successfully passed "local bills" imposing a 5 percent tax on liquor above the fees and taxes collected by the ABC and the state. Many other counties have tried to pass similar measures and failed.

The ABC suddenly believes the relatively insignificant price disparity on a bottle of liquor in Alabama is a problem worth addressing.

"The change in mark-up will keep the price of a bottle (except in Calhoun and Marshall counties) basically the same everywhere in Alabama, and negates the need for the local sales tax bills," wrote ABC Board spokesman Dean Argo.

Let me parse out that logic...

Read the rest here: http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/06/legislature_and_gov_ivey_pass.html

R Street's Cameron Smith also previously wrote about this markup, pointing out that it was in fact a stealth tax on booze: http://www.drinksreform.org/blog-1/2017/5/16/will-alabama-gov-kay-ivey-un-bentley-the-abcs-liquor-tax-hike