Moves to raise wine tax run dry

Posted on May 19, 2010 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Two campaigns to raise fees or taxes on wine are effectively dead, according to the Wine Institute.
AB 1694, introduced by Jim Beall, (D-San Jose), would have imposed a 640% fee on wine. Proponents said the measure would raise $700+ million annually to help cover California’s annual alcohol-related trauma care, hospitalization, treatment, prevention, and criminal justice costs.

Although that bill is stalled, public employee unions have begun a campaign to urge the legislature to consider a 1280% fee/tax on wine to help balance the state budget, according to an institute report.

A $5.11 tax on every 750-ml. bottle of wine was proposed in a ballot initiative, the Josie and Kent Whitney Ballot Proposal. That movement is called dormant because a professional firm was not retained to gather signatures, making certification for the ballot extremely unlikely.