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Missouri's Alcohol Laws Rank Among Least Restrictive

Posted: Jan 30, 2014 12:11 PM by Taylor Beck, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
Updated: Jan 30, 2014 4:00 PM

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COLUMBIA - Missouri has some of the least restrictive alcohol laws in the country, according to a study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

The study ranks Missouri third in the nation for least restrictive alcohol laws.

Colorado and Maryland were the only states with less restrictive alcohol rules than Missouri.

The study analyzed restrictions on distribution, taxes, blue laws, keg registrations and "happy hour" bans.

Most of Missouri's border states fell somewhere in the middle, with Nebraska and Kansas as numbers 18 and 19, and Illinois and Arkansas fitting in at 23 and 24. Oklahoma ranked 27th.

Iowa, Kentucky and Tennessee all fared more on the restrictive side, ranking 41st, 37th and 38th respectively.

Utah ranked as the state with the most restrictive laws.

"The alcohol regime is one of the least restrictive in the United States, with no blue laws and taxes well below average," the center's study said.

Missouri's liquor and beer taxes are the fourth and second lowest in the United States, respectively.

State Spirits Excise Tax Rates

(Source: Tax Foundation)

Consider Missouri's eight border states. The spirits excise tax rate in Iowa is more than $10 more than Missouri's. Illinois' is nearly $7 more expensive. The closest to Missouri is Kansas, where the rate is only $0.50 more.

State Beer Excise Tax Rates

(Source: Tax Foundation)

When it comes to beer excise taxes, Missouri's rate is the lowest by $0.12. Tennessee's tax rate in dollars per gallon is $1.17, that's nearly 20 times more than the show-me-state's.

Columbia is a college town, and with that comes many bars and liquor stores across the city. Tune in to KOMU 8 News at 10 p.m. Thursday for a look at how a lack of alcohol enforcement can hurt funding for public schools.

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