Drinking May Cost You More
Missouri has the second-lowest beer tax rate, at six cents a gallon, in the U.S. The state has not raised the tax since 1970.
The proposed law would increase the alcohol excise tax on beer to 18 cents, wine to 36 cents, and liquor to $2.00.
Rep. Bill Deeken, R-Jefferson City, sponsored the bill in order to have alcohol sales pay for alcohol-abuse prevention and treatment.
"The first initial fee will be the excise fees that will be paid by the companies," said Deeken. "What are they going to do? They're going to pass that on to the distributor. Then the distributor will pass it on to the consumer."
Deeken estimated the price of a drink will increase two cents.
He said the higher fee will generate $44 million to combat student drinking and to help alcoholics.
But, restaurant manager Brian Caton says Deeken's putting the burden on the wrong shoulders.
"I don't believe that the public should have to fund money for rehabilitation," said Caton. "I believe that if a person takes it upon themself (sic) to get in that situation, then it should be on them. It should not be on the public."