Guess the Party: Oregon Legislators Support 1,900% Tax Increase

Our friends at the Associated Press and local Portland KGW Channel 8 both note how some Oregon state lawmakers proposed a bill which would raise the tax on a barrel of beer by a staggering 1,900%. But guess what they leave out? The AP's story is brief:

Beer brewers in Oregon are hopping mad about a proposed bill that would raise their taxes by 1900 percent. The state bill would impose a nearly $50 tax on each barrel of beer produced by Oregon brewers.

Lawmakers who support the tax say the bill would fund prevention and treatment programs for those addicted to alcohol, as well as raise revenue for the state.

But brewers say the tax would cost jobs and could force small breweries to shut down. They say it could also mean a two to four dollar per six pack increase in price for consumers.

KGW's article is more in-depth, mentions the lawmakers who have proposed the bill, but leaves it up to the reader to determine their party affiliation:

Five Oregon state lawmakers want to impose a hefty tax on beer and have introduced a bill that brewers say would cripple them.

Four Portland legislators joined a Springfield senator to introduce Oregon House Bill 2461, which would impose a $49.61 tax on each barrel of beer produced by Oregon brewers.

The tax would raise revenue for the state at a time when budgets are running in the red. Specifically, the bill says it would fund prevention, treatment and recovery programs for those addicted to alcohol and other substances.

It also defends the tax by claiming alcoholism and “untreated substance abuse” costs the state $4.15 billion in “lost earnings” as well as more than $8 million for health care and nearly $1 billion in law enforcement-related expenditures.

Prior versions of the beer tax bill have exempted small breweries but this one does not.

House Bill 2461 has been introduced by Portland Reps. Ben Cannon and Michael Dembrow, Portland Sens. Jackie Dingfelder and Diane Rosenbaum, and Springfield Sen. William Morrisette.

Surprise! All five are Democrats. (You can see for yourself by checking here and here.) Interestingly, the main page of KGW's website notes at bottom that it is an "AP Award winner, Best Oregon TV Web Site, 2007."

It sure seems as if it's "winning" with that AP tradition of label bias!

Taxes Economy Labeling Bias by Omission Oregon Associated Press

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