Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cough Up the Change for That Beer

As I'm sure many of you Massachusetts residents now know, the state Senate approved a sales tax increase last night, increasing the rate from 5% to 6.25%. I imagine if this type of change was made and nobody was informed, maybe 1 in 50 would actually notice the extra $0.60 on their $50 purchase. However, if you were buying $50 worth of beer before, more people may notice the extra $3.10 they would have to cough up. That's because along with this tax hike, beer, wine and liquor are no longer exempt from the state's sales tax.

The tax really is more of an inconvenience than anything for the consumer. I can really only see this new tax affecting those who buy in bulk or frequently purchase high-priced alcohol. However, for the people who go out and buy a 6 or 12-pack of beer once a week, I don't see this changing purchasing habits. I don't see people shifting from more premium, craft beer to cheaper macro-beers just because of the tax, either. That being said, maybe Massachusetts liquor stores who generate large incomes from those who do buy in bulk will suffer. Either way, the newly added sales tax doesn't help deter the nickname "Taxachusetts.".

Will this new sales tax affect your beer/wine/liquor purchasing habits?

4 comments:

Lisa Adler said...

Gareth,
It would be my bet that the additional tax will not change the buying habits of beer aficianados....trust me on this!

Beach August 1-8 wanna come?
We miss you,
Mrs. A

Anonymous said...

Markoqitz says: "Your math is good once again grasshopper."

U reed nooz gud 2.

21stCenturyCavePainter said...

I really don't know what to think about this senate decision. Though it will not have an effect on what type of beer I drink, it will on where I choose to buy my beer and how often I will do so. Most likely, it will make me more picky and motivate me to homebrew a lot more often.

Gareth said...

Yea, I agree that this tax isn't changing buying habits of beer consumers too much.

CavePainter - I've been trying to get in to homebrewing for a while now, but haven't gotten around to doing enough research on what I really need to start. But increasing prices is certainly some additional motivation to start.