Pritzker proposes tax hike on beer, wine and liquor

By Cole Lauterbach
The Center Square

SPRINGFIELD – Drinking in Illinois could soon cost more.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to raise taxes on beer, wine and liquor to help pay for a new infrastructure spending plan.

proposal released Friday would increase the $8.55 per gallon tax on distilled liquor to $12.60. This would give Illinois the ninth-highest tax rate for distilled spirits in the country.

For wine, the governor’s proposal would hike the tax levy to $2.05 per gallon, which would be the third-highest tax in the nation. He would increase Illinois’ gallonage excise tax on beer to 27.7 cents, putting the tax near the national average.

The state taxes these drinks by the gallon when it’s sold by airlines, direct wine shippers, distributors, manufacturers, or non-resident dealers. It’s scaled by alcohol content.

The governor estimates that the tax hikes would bring in $120 million in additional revenue every year.

Pritzker’s proposal would be paid for with a combination of new tax hikes and borrowing.

“Rebuilding Illinois through a capital plan will create good jobs and develop needed infrastructure in each area of the state, investing $41.5 billion over six years and supporting an estimated 540,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs throughout the life of the 6-year Rebuild Illinois plan,” it reads.

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