This week, House Bill 3296 was released, which would increase the beer excise tax from $2.60 per barrel up to $72.60 per barrel – a 2800% increase.
Beer, wine, cider and spirits are an essential part of Oregon’s economy and identity.
Closures due to COVID-19, coupled with the unprecedented wildfires this fall, have had a devastating impact on Oregon’s breweries, wineries, cideries, distilleries, restaurants, bars and hospitality sector. The last thing these local businesses need are the unprecedented tax increases proposed in the House Bill 3296. The bill would increase taxes on beer and cider by nearly 3000% and increase taxes on wine by nearly 2000%, making Oregon the highest beer, wine, cider and spirits tax state in the nation.
With restaurant, bar, brewpub and tasting room closures, the beer, wine, cider, spirits and hospitality sectors have already had a devastating year with 50,000 jobs lost. In order to survive, Oregon’s breweries, wineries, cideries, distilleries, restaurants and bars need the support of our elected officials, which is why we urge you to oppose HB 3296.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregon was home to 400 breweries, 900 wineries, 1,200 vineyards, 100 cideries, 65 distilleries, 73 distributors and 10,000 restaurants, creating thousands of good-paying jobs and several billion dollars in wages. Many of those jobs are now at risk or have been lost. Tax increases only make it harder for these local businesses to invest in rehiring, equipment upgrades and expansion.
We don’t need to raise taxes on Oregon’s local beer, wine, cider, spirits and hospitality businesses — something deeply unpopular with voters. 74% of Oregonians oppose increasing taxes on these homegrown businesses. And the Oregon Health Authority itself admits it must first assess how existing funds are being used before increases taxes on what is already the third largest source of revenue for the state.
To help support Oregon craft breweries, wineries, cideries, and distilleries, please click the link below and sign our online petition: