Voter initiative wants to raise tax on wine 12,675%

April 3, 2010

California wine lovers are becoming uncorked over a voter initiative, intended for the November ballot, that would increase the excise tax on wine by 12,675 percent. [KSBW]

Under the proposed Alcohol Harm and Related-damages Act of 2010, the current tax of four cents on a bottle of wine would go up to $5.11. The tax on beer would increase 8,255 percent; distilled spirits would see an increase of 2,703 percent.

Money from the tax increase would go to funding programs that address alcohol-related injuries and damages.

Supporters of the initiative have until August 23 to collect 434,000 valid signatures to put the measure to a November vote.

Critics argue that the most popular wine selling today goes for between $7 and $8 a bottle–a $5 tax, they worry, would kill off sales completely.

The alcohol tax initiative was co-authored by Josie B. and Kent M. Whitney, a San Diego couple who appear to be heavily involved in promoting wellness.

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I expect the code pink crowd to hand out the petitions.