Action Alert - UPDATED 4/27/04
Stop Alcohol Tax Cuts in the 108th Congress!
Oppose Beer Tax Rollback Bill H.R. 1305
In 2002, beer and liquor lobbyists gathered considerable Congressional support for legislation to slash federal excise taxes on their products. Having contributed heavily to campaign coffers in the 2002 Congressional elections, they plan a renewed push for tax breaks in the 108th Congress -- a Congress which may look favorably on such "tax relief."
On March 29, 2001, Rep. Philip English (R-PA) introduced H.R. 1305, a bill that would reduce the federal excise tax on beer to its 1951 level. The bill had 225 co-sponsors as of December 2003. Also, just before the 107th Congress adjourned, Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) introduced companion legislation in the Senate (S. 3175), but the Senate bill died without co-sponsors.
On May 25, 2001, Rep. Ron Lewis (R-KY) introduced H.R. 2023, a bill "to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reduce the rate of tax on distilled spirits to its pre-1985 [i.e. 1951] level." The bill had 97 co-sponsors when the 107th Congress adjourned.
Days after the opening of the 108th Congress, on January 7, 2003, Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA-47th) re-introduced legislation to cut the federal excise tax on beer in half. H.R. 52 gathered 13 co-sponsors as of March 21, 2003.
On March 18, 2003, Representatives Phil English (R-PA) and Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) re-introduced beer-tax cut bill H.R. 1305, with 122 original co-sponsors.
On April 8, 2003, Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) introduced S. 809.
Reducing taxes on alcoholic beverages is bad fiscal and public health policy. Lower alcohol taxes would add to the deficit, cater to a prosperous industry, reward and encourage heavy drinking, and attract more young drinkers. Please voice your opposition to alcohol tax cuts and urge rejection of such unwise, industry-backed proposals in the 108th Congress.
Please write to your Representative and Senators in the District/State offices and urge them to oppose any reductions in federal excise taxes on alcoholic beverages and consider ways to increase them instead.
Due to ongoing security-related mail delays to Capitol Hill, please fax letters to DC offices or mail them to your representatives' DISTRICT offices. Find addresses and fax numbers here.
For more information, please contact Kim Miller, Manager of Federal Relations.
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Alcohol Policies Project
1220 L St. NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-332-9110 * Fax: 202-265-4954 * Web: www.cspinet.org/booze