Facing Big Deficit, Wyoming Solons Mull Major Bev/Al Hike

Wyoming legislators are considering quadrupling the sales tax on malt beverages to 4-3/4 cents per liter from one-half cents per 100 milliliters, raising the sales tax on wine and spirits an additional penny per 750 ml, and raising the sales tax on malt beverages an additional penny per 12 ounces.

The proposal would also allow the Wyoming liquor division, which acts as a wholesaler, to earn 20.6% profit rather than the current 17.6%.

The total package would raise $6.4 million, a drop in the bucket of the state’s $385 million budget gap for next year.

Sen. R. Ray Peterson (R), who co-chairs the state Senate Revenue Committee, said he supports raising the tax on beer, alcohol and cigarettes.  “All those things cost the state money.”

Also being considered:  a “lodging and hospitality tax” on businesses catering to out-of-state visitors, including bars.

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