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.

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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.

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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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