We must discourage sales at all cost

The California state excise tax on a 750-ml bottle of wine is four cents. Signatures will soon be taken for a ballot measure to raise this tax to seven cents twelve cents more than five dollars:

A measure that would raise the excise tax on a 750 ml bottle of wine from 4 cents to $5.11 has been cleared for circulation by the Secretary of State. Proponents can begin collecting the 433,971 signatures needed to put the initiative on the November ballot.

The measure would push the tax on a six-pack of beer from 11¢ to $6.08, and raise the total tax on a 750 ml bottle of distilled spirits from 65 cents to $17.57.

The full text is here [pdf]. The proponents must collect 433,971 signatures in 150 days to get the measure onto the ballot.

Personally, I think that if California is in such dire financial straits, they should enact an excise tax on ballot initiatives.

(Via Dr. Vino, who wonders if Trader Joe’s will end up selling seven-buck Chuck.)


  1. Lisa Paul »

    1 April 2010 · 9:07 pm

    Hear, hear. I get the concept of a sin tax. But in California, wine isn’t a vice. It’s one of the essential food groups.

  2. diamond dave »

    2 April 2010 · 10:44 pm

    And even if they get it on the ballot, what makes them think they can get a majority of the people to vote yes on it? I seriously doubt they would find that many teetotalers in the fine People’s Republik of CA. And I’m sure quite a few that don’t drink (myself included) still wouldn’t approve something that blatantly draconian.

  3. Charles Pergiel »

    3 April 2010 · 12:15 am

    I’m all for it. With the price of legal booze going up, there will be plenty of opportunity to make money dealing in illegal booze. More illegal booze will require more coppers to chase down the moonshiners (wineshiners? wizenheimers?), but since the new tax will bring in more revenue, they state will have the money to hire more coppers. All of which will boost employment, both illegal and legal, but most importantly, it will provide a wealth of material to include in a remake of The Dukes of Hazard, the best TV show ever!

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