OK committee downs tax increase on low-pt beer

Posted at 4:42 PM, May 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 17:42:01-04

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A proposal to increase taxes on low-point beer in Oklahoma has failed to pass a state Senate committee after members expressed concern it appeared to target a specific product.

The Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget on Tuesday voted 27-16 against the bill. The proposal would quadruple the excise tax rate on low-point beer to $45 per barrel and apportion part of the proceeds to the state's general revenue fund.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission estimates the proposal would increase state revenues by $5 million, while raising about $4 million more for county or municipal governments.

Republican Sen. Clark Jolley says if Oklahoma voters were to repeal the legal distinction between high- and low-point beer in 2018, these revenue increases would also expire.