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Debate over the alcohol tax increase

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Mark Stutrud
Summit Brewing founder and President Mark Stutrud says his business could be on the line if the alcohol excise tax passed by the Minnesota House becomes law.
MPR Photo/Mark Zdechlik

The Minnesota House passed a tax bill this week that would raise taxes on alcohol. 

State House Tax Committee Chair Rep. Ann Lenczewski and other supporters of the increase say it would raise the price of a drink by about seven cents. They say it would bring in about $200 million and most Minnesotans won't even notice the difference.

Bars and brewers in the state, however, are against the increase. Summit Brewing founder and president Mark Stutrud said if the House bill becomes law, Summit's state excise tax will jump to nearly six times what it is now, reports MPR News' Mark Zdechlik

"[Stutrud] said he'd pass the extra cost on to his wholesalers, who would pass it on to retailers. He said they'd then tack on their margins and that customers buying a glass of beer at a bar or a six pack at a liquor store would pay a lot more than seven cents more per drink," reports Zdechlik.

A supporter and opponent of the alcohol tax increase join The Daily Circuit for a debate.