Should Legislature Increase Beer Tax?

Monday, Oct 8, 2012  |  Updated 11:38 PM CDT
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Increasing the state's beer tax to shore up Texas' tight budget could be up for debate in the coming legislative session.

Amanda Guerra, NBC 5 News

Increasing the state's beer tax to shore up Texas' tight budget could be up for debate in the coming legislative session.

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A Texas policy group is suggesting that lawmakers hike what's sometimes known as the sin tax.

The Center for Public Policy Priorities has proposed raising the beer tax to help fund schools, transportation and health care.

"We're a growing state, and we have growing needs," said Dick Lavine, Center for Public Policy Priorities senior fiscal analyst.

The group says that the beer tax has stayed at the same amount in almost 30 years while the price of beer has nearly doubled.

"It shows you what happens when you don't go back every once in a while, take a look at your tax system and see if it's doing what it's supposed to do," Lavine said.

But the idea hasn't had much support.

"When you mention any type of an increase, people see it as an additional tax," one woman said. "Most of the time, it has a negative effect."

Tiffany Barron, of Scholz Garden in Austin, said she can understand why a beer tax might be on tap.

"People aren't going to stop paying for beer," she said. "They'll be mad, but they're going to drink beer."

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