Illinois alcohol taxes set to soar

Consumers in Illinois will be hit with the largest alcohol tax increase in state history come September 1. Oh, and many suppliers also plan to rase the prices of their products as well.

It reminds me of the situation a Canadian distillery official told me about during a visit to his operation a few years ago when the subject of high prices of adult beverages in his country came up.

"Why don't you find many Canadian alcoholics?" he asked. "Because no one makes enough money to be one."

In Illinois, the excise tax on alcohol is paid to the state by the manufacturer or distributor. According to the state's Department of Revenue, consumers can expect to see the tax on a six-pack of beer go up by 25% (from 10.4 cents to 13 cents), the tax on a bottle of wine go up 86% (from 13 cents to 28 cents), and the tax on a fifth of distilled spirits 90% (from 90 cents to $1.71).

That all is based on current prices. Once supplier price hikes are figured in, consumers probably will be paying about $3 more for a 1.75-liter bottle of spirits and $1 or more extra for a bottle of wine.

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