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CA Distillers, take notice, A new initiative to increase tax on alcohol


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A new initiative that would increase the tax on alcohol was cleared for signature gathering today by the Secretary of State's Office. And it's not a modest tax increase, it's huge. Tax on a six-pack of beer would increase from 6-cents to $6.08. And say goodbye to two-buck chuck--a tax on a 750 ml bottle of wine would go from 4-cents to $5.11. And the tax on a 750 ml bottle of distilled spirits would increase from from 65-cents to $17.57.

Thoughts on how to best let our representatives know that this would basically kill small producers in the state?

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For ADI members outside of California, we have an interesting "initiative process" that allows voters to write new statutes, amend our constitution, overturn the legislature's actions, and recall representatives by paying a $200 fee, qualifying, and placing their referendum on the ballot. This requires a long process, the gathering of nearly half a million signatures, and finally winning at the election booth.

This initiative by the Whitneys is a bit less scary than had it been raised by a member of the legislature. Here, presuming they get the required signatures, all of California's voters will have an opportunity to read their rambling and inaccurate initiative. Happily, most California voters like beer and wine and are very proud to be America's largest producer of the latter.

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