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News Tue Aug 25 2009
You may have seen some liquor stores advertising about the upcoming liquor tax increases that take effect September 1. Today the Chicago Tribune had an article that clarified some of this advertising--apparently Binny's has called this the largest alcohol tax increase in state history, but that's not technically true.
Semantics aside, Susan Hofer, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Revenue, was quoted as saying the new taxes wouldn't be so bad. "When you look at the price differential for each item you buy, it's not that much," she said.
Let's look at that price differential, shall we? Beer? The tax goes up from 10.4 cents to 13 cents a six-pack. Wine? The tax per bottle is going from 13 cents to 28 cents. Spirits? That one-fifth bottle you used to pay 90 cents tax on? Going to $1.71.
Although Hofer's argument could be valid for beer and wine, it's way off when you look at spirits. Honestly, the spirits tax is almost doubled. I personally think that's a pretty big price differential, especially considering that you also pay sales tax on top of these taxes. Adding a good couple of dollars to a bottle of spirits might actually be the straw that breaks the camel's back--or in this case, closes the wallet.