Tennessee brewers want state to lower beer tax - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Tennessee brewers want state to lower beer tax

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Fact. Tennessee has the highest tax on beer in the country, even higher than the state of Alaska.

A law passed back in the 1950s adds a total of three separate taxes every time a bartender pours a pint.

Breweries across the Volunteer state want the tax changed complaining that its hurts business.

MORE: Brewers call for freezing Tennessee beer taxes

A working man or woman has to pay a lot in taxes to drink a beer at their favorite watering hole. A brewery owner has to pay a tax on the sale, barrel and wholesale volume of beer. When you add it all up, the beer tax in Tennessee is leaving us thirsty for some kind of reform.

Supporters who want the tax changed held a rally in Midtown Memphis on Friday. They want lawmakers in Nashville to support a bill introduced by State Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown. The bill would calculate wholesale tax on volume sold rather than price of the beer.

MORE: Fix The Beer Tax in Tennessee movement

This would benefit breweries, who offer a high-end or microbrewed  beer on their menus.

Memphis brewery owners complain the current triple tax on brew is hurting their business to the point. They can't afford to hire more employees.

This bill is starting to get a lot of attention on social media and the legislation to change the tax code is picking up sponsors among state law makers.

Think of it. Who would want vote to keep taxes high on beer?

Even if this passes, the Volunteer State's tax on beer would drop from the highest in the country to the 11th highest.


FOX13 News reporter Matt Gerien contributed to this report.

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