The Distilled Spirits Council today blasted the massive new spirits tax proposed by Governor Kate Brown, calling the additional markup of 50 cents per bottle a stealth tax that unfairly targets Oregon’s consumers of distilled spirits.

“Oregon spirits consumers already pay more than their fair share in taxes,” said Distilled Spirits Council Regional Vice President Adam Smith.  “The spirits sector already generates $245 million in state and local taxes, with 60 percent of a bottle’s shelf price going to taxes.  Since Oregon’s excise tax rate is five times the national average, adding yet another tax is simply punitive.

The Governor’s newly-proposed markup is in addition to the previously approved “temporary” markup of 50 cents, thus adding $1 per bottle to the price paid by spirits consumers.

“Oregon Liquor Control Commission Chairman Rob Patridge and his colleagues have made great strides in modernizing their operations to better serve consumers and spirits makers while generating additional revenue for the state.  Targeting distilled spirits sold in Oregon with another major tax increase hurts consumers, as well as the state’s growing distilling community.”

The distilled spirits sector is a significant part of Oregon’s economy, supporting more than 15,000 local hospitality jobs, paying out $275 million in wages and generating $1.4 billion in economic activity for the state.  Oregon is also home to more than 70 distilleries.