Wyoming’s Beer Tax

The Wyoming state legislature may consider a bill that would divert funds from the alcohol tax to programs that provide treatment for substance abuse.

It’s estimated that alcohol abuse costs the state 843 million dollars a year.

Casper representative Bunky Loucks is sponsoring the bill. He says the bill would ta

ke 15 percent of the funds raised from alcohol tax, or roughly two million dollars and give it to the Wyoming Department of Health to help combat substance abuse.

The legislature’s Joint Revenue committee will discuss the possibility of raising the state beer tax Friday/Today. 

Beer is currently taxed two cents a gallon, a tax that was established in 1935.  Supporters want to raise the tax to pay for underfunded substance abuse programs.  Wyoming has the lowest beer taxes in the nation.

Riverton Mayor Ron Warpness says communities have trouble finding money to pay for substance abuse programs, and he says that he’s disappointed that the Legislature has frequently scuttled attempts to raise the tax.

Bob Beck

Wyoming is not a big tax state, so it might not be much of surprise to learn that Wyoming’s Beer Taxes are the lowest in the country.  Beer is taxed two cents a gallon and according to the Tax Foundation that amounts to a penny a six pack for a consumer. 

There have been several efforts to raise the tax in recent years, but those proposals are typically dead on arrival.  In a few weeks the Legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee will re-vist the issue as Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.