Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Alcohol Taxes

Taxes on alcohol in California:
Wine: $0.20 per gallon
Beer: $0.30 per gallon
Liquor: $3.30 per gallon

I may be getting my stuff cheap in comparison to other states, but this is just an illusion. For the purpose of discussion, I'll limit my comparison to the two places I am most familiar with, tax-wise, and where I've recently spent the most money across the board: Washington and Oregon.

Washington charges a sales tax of 6.5%
Oregon has zero sales tax.
California sales tax is officially 7.75%, but is actually higher in most counties, up to 9.25% in some areas. I'm living in a right-wing cowboy county that routinely votes down tax increases, so my usual sales tax rate is the minimum 7.75%.

Gasoline taxes:
California: $0.465
Oregon: $0.25
Washington: $0.375

Don't know about the others, but California adds sales tax to gasoline, while Washington has no income tax.

Generally... I buy a bottle of bourbon every week, and about 25 gallons of gas.
My weekly Bulleit ($19.99+tax at Trader Joe's) would cost me about $30.00 in WA and OR, a little higher in WA after I pay the sales tax and a higher excise tax.

It looks like the $10 I'm not giving to The Man for bourbon I end up giving to him when I fill my tank. A guy can't win.

Reference link: The Tax Foundation


Brian said...

Sales tax in King Co. is 9.5%.

Property taxes are also very high, and even though we don't pay them directly, they certainly inflate our rent.

We came from a state where we paid a 7% state income tax. And we pay more taxes now.

The one thing that is much cheaper here than in NC: beer. Which actually works out pretty damn well for me...

Foxfier said...

Pierce county was asked to vote, last year, to raise their sales tax to over 10% from 9.8something.

found this from the Tax foundation, has the gas-cigs-spirit-wine-beer taxes laid out, easy to look over; they calculate the implied tax on spirits when there's a state monopoly using a method from DISCUS.

Dang, I love the internet-- you can find all kinds of cool things!

Foxfier said...

Oh, and according to the state DORthere are three places in WA that actually have a .07 sales tax; .005 local, .065 to the state.

As much as I hate sales taxes, it does make it a lot easier when you're just scraping by-- when we were living on my husband's duty weekends, we could get by with only buying food and, on occasion, buying absolute essentials at dirt-cheap prices. Sales taxes are probably the best route to fair taxes in a theoretical world, but in reality they're way too prone to being used to get an outcome-- example, sin taxes on alcohol and tobacco.