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Mon August 3, 2009
Governor looking at beer tax hike
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm will have to fight an uphill battle if she pushes for a two cent beer tax hike to generate revenue. She reportedly proposed the hike in closed-door budget negotiations with legislative leaders in Lansing.
A two cent increase per bottle could generate more than $40 million in tax revenue a year. Advocates of the hike say it's long overdue, with Michigan not touching the beer tax since the mid-1960s.
But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are hesitant to touch the subject of suds. And legislative leaders involved in closed-door budget discussions with the governor are vocal about not supporting a beer tax increase.
House Appropriations Committee chairman George Cushingberry.
"I'm from a district of beer drinkers," he says. "You ain't gonna raise no taxes on beer - you can forget that. I know it ain't right - we not gonna do it." [laughs]
House Speaker Andy Dillon says the beer tax is not on his agenda. He says Michigan has the highest tax in the region, and he doesn't want to give Michigan's beer drinkers any more reason to go over the border to buy brew.