MA State Senate Votes to Raise Tax on Wine from 0% to 6.25%

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Photo by philip

Just when you thought MA couldn't get any worse as a place to buy wine due to restrictive direct shipment laws...

The MA state senate voted to raise the state sales tax rate from 5% to 6.25%. That in itself is news *but* the real news here (especially for wine lovers) is that wine, which was previously tax exempt at the point of purchase, will go from being taxed at a rate of 0% to 6.25%! In other words, that $20 bottle will now cost $21.25. It would also be much more affordable in states that don't have such heavy taxation on alcohol, and allow more competition in wine sales.

Our friends from other states will note that they pay as much as 8 or 9% tax on wine, so what are we crying about? Well, historically alcohol has been taxed at the distributor level in MA, not at the consumer level. This increase will effectively introduce a double taxation on wine sales and likely makes MA one of the most expensive states in the union to buy wine.

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