Rep. Hooker submits bill for first beer tax increase since 1966

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State Rep. Tom Hooker, R-Byron Center, has introduced legislation Tuesday to increase the tax on beer to five cents per 12-ounce serving.

“This is to help fund health and treatment programs associated with the consumption of alcohol, as well as lead to a decrease in crimes tied to alcohol,” said Rep. Hooker. “With fewer state General Fund dollars dedicated today than 20 years ago toward prevention, treatment and legal programs involving alcohol abuse, we need to address this growing problem. The people who choose to consume beer should help with a solution to this issue, just as people who smoke have helped fund health programs associated with smoking.”

The Michigan Alcohol Policy Promoting Health and Safety, a Perry-based organization advocating for laws and policies that reduce the illegal and harmful use of alcohol, supports the legislation. The organization emphasized that tax on beer has been unchanged since 1966.

“I want to thank Rep. Hooker for his leadership on this issue,” said Mike Tobias, executive director of Michigan Alcohol Policy Promoting Health and Safety. “He’s known as one of the most conservative anti-tax lawmakers, but he understands this is a critical issue and is good public policy. He knows this is the right thing to do.”

House Bill 5873 is specific for beer sales only, not wine or alcohol spirits.