Archive for Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Alcohol tax

The justifications for a higher cigarette tax in Kansas also apply to alcohol use in the state.

February 9, 2010


Those who argue that Kansas leaders who support increases in the state cigarette tax also should look at raising the state’s alcohol tax have a valid point.

To balance the state budget, Gov. Mark Parkinson proposed that the state should raise its sales tax by 1 percent for three years and increase its tax on a pack of cigarettes by 55 cents. At about the same time the House Tax Committee killed the governor’s sales tax proposal, a couple of Republican legislators from Johnson County also proposed doubling the state liquor tax. The legislators say the increased tax would raise about $22 million in additional revenue that would go toward supporting mental health centers and reducing the waiting list of those seeking home and community-based mental health services.

The state currently collects a tax of 18 cents per gallon of beer, 30 cents per gallon of wine and $2.50 per gallon of liquor. The taxes are paid before the products are sold at a liquor, grocery or convenience store, but the costs can be easily passed on to retail customers.

To smokers who see themselves as the state’s most beleaguered minority, an increased liquor tax makes a lot of sense.

All of the reasons leaders offer for raising the cigarette tax have valid parallels for alcohol. Cigarette smokers are costly to the state that must help support the increased health care costs of smokers. Alcohol users also raise demand for health care and mental health services. The state wants to discourage tobacco use, especially by teens. The legal age to purchase cigarettes is 18, while the legal age to purchase alcohol is 21, but higher prices that result from tax increases still could be an economic deterrent for young drinkers. Like cigarettes, alcohol also is an optional purchase, not a necessity.

Some of the same concerns about higher taxes driving people to neighboring states to purchase cigarettes also apply to alcohol purchases. This seems only to be a significant concern in the Kansas City metropolitan area, and, even there, most people are going to continue to buy most of their alcohol and cigarettes at the locations that are most convenient to them.

Smoking isn’t the only vice that is costly to Kansas. Do we even need to mention the dangers of drinking and driving? An increased alcohol tax probably would affect a higher percentage of Kansas residents than an increased cigarette tax, but why shouldn’t Kansans who consume alcohol pay a little extra to help cover some of the social costs created by alcohol abuse?


Randall Barnes 7 years, 9 months ago


Maddy Griffin 7 years, 9 months ago

Why should smokers be the only ones to bear this burden. I"m all for a sin tax. I believe sodas and fruity drinks should also be taxed. they contribute to the health care bills. And fast food.

kansasmutt 7 years, 9 months ago

Ever heard of liver disease, mental retardation ,DCCA, Police saturation nights and the list goes on and on with drinking problems we all end up paying for them and we dont drink. Those cost taxpayer billions. Time for the drinkers to belly up to the TAX BAR ....

Paul R Getto 7 years, 9 months ago

Does anyone find it ironic, in this 'war on drugs' that the government itself displays addictive behaviors towards taxing the two most deadly substances commonly ingested by humans. Sales (except on basic food and medications) taxes and income taxes are the way to go. A tax on calories would be useful as well and attack another social problem we are going to pay dearly for in the near future.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 9 months ago

I'd like to lobby a bill that removes the term "Sin Tax". This implies that there is a god and that doing certain things would make you fall from his graces. The truth is that this is a morality tax and it's imposed by those who feel smoking and drinking are a sin.
If they want to address the tax as a medical tax to cover the insane amount of people who fall ill or die each year from these devices, I'm all for that. And since poor diet is right up there as a top killer in this country, I'd like to see fast food enjoy the same taxation.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 9 months ago

I am willing to pay a little more for my beer and wine.

I am also willing to pay Kansas sales taxes for all online purchases dedicated to public school funding. This would somewhat level the playing field for local business as well.

I am also willing to consider this as a dedicated source to assist USD 497 medical insurance, academic salaries,school supplies and school fees.

This could become available as a dedicated City of Lawrence USD 497 user fee:

Chris Ogle 7 years, 9 months ago

Here are just a few:

Building Permit Tax CDL License Tax Cigarette Tax Corporate Income Tax Dog License Tax Federal Income Tax (Fed) Federal Unemployment Tax (FU TA) Fishing License Tax Food License Tax Fuel Permit Tax Gasoline Tax Hunting License Tax Inheritance Tax Inventory Tax IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax) IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax) Liquor Tax Luxury Tax Marriage License Tax Medicare Tax Property Tax Real Estate Tax Service charge taxes Social Security Tax Road Usage Tax (Truckers) Sales Taxes Recreational Vehicle Tax School Tax State Income Tax State Unemployment Tax (SUTA) Telephone Federal Excise Tax Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax Telephone State and Local Tax Telephone Usage Charge Tax Utility Tax Vehicle License Registration T ax Vehicle Sales Tax Watercraft Registration Tax Well Permit Tax Workers Compensation Tax

(And to think, we left British Rule to avoid so many taxes)

Richard Heckler 7 years, 9 months ago

However I also support all further construction of major projects such as the sports project(tax increase),school buildings and property purchase be apprroved by USD 497 taxpaying voters.

labmonkey 7 years, 9 months ago

Why stop about a fast food and junk food tax? How about a huge tax for obese people who have handicap tags?

Beatrice- You are for many things I deem sinful, so why not an abortion tax?

Chris Ogle 7 years, 9 months ago

Kontum1972..... Okay, so a cheat a little

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 9 months ago

AreUNorml-- I like the idea of the "morality tax". I used the term "sin tax" not because of a belief in God, but for lack of a better term. Or maybe we could call it a "lack of good sense" tax.

Alexander Neighbors 7 years, 9 months ago


you forgot about a Death Tax (Tax on Dieing)

Scott Drummond 7 years, 9 months ago


you forgot about a Death Tax (Tax on Dieing)"

I'd propose a spelling and grammar tax, houses and all.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 9 months ago

"AreUNorml— I like the idea of the “morality tax”. I used the term “sin tax” not because of a belief in God, but for lack of a better term. Or maybe we could call it a “lack of good sense” tax."

Drug addict tax

beatrice 7 years, 9 months ago

labm: "Beatrice- You are for many things I deem sinful, so why not an abortion tax?"

Somebody is calling me out, and I haven't even responded to this story yet?

Okay. Sure, tax abortions. Why not. Tax knee-replacement surgeries too. Heck, just tax all medical procedures. We should also tax Viagra, and lap dances as well.

In fact, tax everything that isn't necessary. However, as anyone who is married can tell you, drinking isn't a luxury, it is a necessity. (badoom boom)

Honestly, while I really dislike smoking and agree it shouldn't be allowed indoors in public places, I've never been in favor of an extra tax on cigarettes. It is too selective, in my opinion. Same would hold true for alcohol.

And monkey, while I feel a woman should have the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, that is hardly the same thing as being "for" abortion. Don't confuse the two.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 9 months ago

scott3460 (Anonymous) says… Drug addict tax

I am all for that. Tax and regulate marijuana and other drugs. We currently give all of that money directly to the black market. not only that, we also spend additional tax dollars to feed prohibition (which hasn't fixed anything, ever). Wouldn't all those drug dollars be better spent in our local economies and in our state coffers? The direct revenue from the taxation of the drugs would pale in comparison to the overall economic influence. The US has spent a trillion dollars over the last 30 years. Today drugs are better, cheaper and more attainable by children.

Taxation and regulation would destroy the black market, provide a legitimate source for those who choose to use drugs, and enable the state to reduce usage by minors.

Would it be perfect; no. But no government agency or bureaucracy is. But really, could legalized marijuana really be any worse than our current situation?

Georgine McHenry 7 years, 9 months ago

I agree with xbusguy and LarryNative. TOO MANY TAXES ALREADY. Misuse of revenue...? How about a tax on peanut products and dairy. They can cause allergic reactions as can heavy use of perfume or cologne...severe health risks. What is happening to our world?

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 9 months ago

Merrill - di you pay use tax for your online purchases, if sales tax was not charged??? Yes???

If the answer is no, you are part of the problem with the budget crunch in Kansas. Pay your taxes man.

I am sending my taxes for my purchases later this week. I can at least said I helped reduce the budget shortfall in Kansas.

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