Pritzker proposes alcohol tax to help fund infrastructure plan

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There’s a push underway in Illinois to increase the price of beer, liquor and wine.

Governor J.B. Pritzker says a tax on those items will help pay for infrastructure upgrades throughout the state.

“Enough,” said Revelry Bar Owner Rusty Williams. “Pick on somebody else.”

That was the reaction from Williams when he heard about the governor’s plan to increase taxes on liquor, wine and beer.

“We get hit with it and then we will have to pass it on to the consumer,” said Williams. “The consumers, like us, are getting tired of it.”

Under Pritzker’s proposal, taxes on booze would rise by up to 50 percent. Current liquor gallonage taxes are 23.1 cents on beer and cider, $1.39 on wine, and $8.55 on distilled liquor. This proposal would increase the rate per gallon on 4.6 cents, 66 cents and $4.05.”

“They don’t care about the American people no more,” said Quincy resident John Montgomery.

Montgomery says Illinois taxes are getting to be ridiculous.

“The state needs to get their priorities set,” said Montgomery. “There’s a bunch of idiots in Springfield.”

Montgomery says if he has to pay more for his drink at the bar, there’s a quick fix for that.

“I’ll go over to Missouri,” said Montgomery.

Losing out on possible business because of this proposed increase, is something Williams is worried about.

“Already we’re looking at $15 an hour on wages so then we have to take that into consideration and now we’re going to have this tax,” said Williams.

The beer tax rate in Iowa is 19 cents a gallon. Missouri is at 6 cents.

Under this proposal to raise $41.5 billion for infrastructure, the governor is also proposing to double the state’s gas tax, nearly double vehicle registration fees for newer cars, tax cable, satellite and streaming services, and tax ride-sharing, among other things.

Kaylee Pfeiferling

Kaylee Pfeiferling

Multimedia Journalist

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