Monday, June 18, 2018
Politics

PolitiFact: Claim that Oregon has nation's lowest beer tax is false

The statement

"We have the lowest beer tax in the nation."

Oregon state Sen. Rod Monroe, D-Portland, Jan. 15 in a work session

The ruling

Does Oregon have the lowest beer tax in the country? PolitiFact Oregon checked.

We called Scott Drenkard, an economist with the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax research group in Washington, D.C. Its website includes a weekly map of the United States showing beer tax rates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Drenkard, noting that the statistics are drawn from another group, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, said Oregon ranks 45th nationally with consumers paying a tax rate of 8 cents a gallon of beer. That comes out to just under 4 cents tacked on to the price of a six-pack.

The rate puts Oregon behind only Colorado, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri and Wyoming, which has a 2 cent-a-gallon beer tax.

Tennessee, by contrast, ranks first at $1.17 per gallon. Alaska's $1.07 is second.

Monroe, contacted via email for a response, wrote: "If you add in the sales tax, Oregon has the lowest. The states that are lower than Oregon have a sales tax. When you add the sales tax to the beer tax the total is higher than Oregon."

According to the Federation of Tax Administrators, a Washington, D.C., tax-research group, Monroe is correct when it comes to sales taxes. Oregon is one of nine states that do not have a sales tax.

However, general sales taxes apply to most retail items, not just beer. We called Drenkard back to get his thoughts.

"Sales taxes do affect the price of beer, but it's not a beer-specific tax," he said, noting that 20 states do impose additional taxes pertaining specifically to malted beverages. "Then again, corporate taxes also affect the price of goods, including beer. Should we add those in as well? Where do you draw a line?"

Oregon, according to a national group that tracks beer taxes, has one of the lowest such rates in the county. The 8-cents-a-gallon rate, sixth-lowest nationally, has remained unchanged since 1978.

But Monroe claimed that Oregon has the lowest beer tax in the United States.

Later, he tried to justify that assertion by saying it's the lowest if Oregon's lack of a sales tax is taken into account. He didn't make that specification in his original statement, though, and sales taxes aren't specific to beer. We rate his claim False.

Edited for print. Read the full version at PolitiFact.com/Oregon.

Comments
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says heís willing to testify before Congress

FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says heís willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney sai...
Published: 06/17/18
Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

The Trump administrationís move to separate immigrant parents from their children on the U.S.-Mexico border has grabbed attention around the world, drawn scorn from human-rights organizations and overtaken the immigration debate in Congress.Itís also...
Published: 06/17/18

Pasco Political Notebook

Perenich to ĎWalk the DistrictíStephen Perenich, Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, Florida District 12, will be "Walking the District" June 25-29. Perenich will be walking 55 miles in five days, starting in Dade City and heading...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
GOP lawmakers decry family separations as WH defends policy

GOP lawmakers decry family separations as WH defends policy

WASHINGTON ó Congressional Republicans distanced themselves Thursday from the Trump administrationís aggressive policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border even as the White House cited the Bible in defending its "zero tol...
Published: 06/14/18
Sarah Sanders and  Raj Shah are planning to step down, per CBS report

Sarah Sanders and Raj Shah are planning to step down, per CBS report

Press secretary Sarah Sanders and principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah are considering stepping down, according to a CBS report. Sanders promptly responded in a Tweet saying, "I love my job and am honored to work for @POTUS." Does @CBSNews k...
Published: 06/13/18
Updated: 06/14/18
Fed raises key rate and sees possible acceleration in hikes

Fed raises key rate and sees possible acceleration in hikes

WASHINGTON ó The Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time this year and signaled that it may step up its pace of rate increases because of solid economic growth and rising inflation. The Fed now foresees four rate hi...
Published: 06/13/18
Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister hits $1 million mark in first bid for election

Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister hits $1 million mark in first bid for election

TAMPA ó Law enforcement officers never want to be outgunned. Neither do political candidates.Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister need not worry.The Republican candidate has amassed what appears to be a record-sized war chest of just more than $1 mil...
Published: 06/12/18
Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

So the Supreme Court is in favor of voter suppression.Or is it election integrity?I suppose your interpretation depends on your party affiliation.Liberals seem convinced that an Ohio voting law upheld by the Supreme Court on Monday is a devious plot ...
Published: 06/12/18
Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

So the Supreme Court is in favor of voter suppression.Or is it election integrity?I suppose your interpretation depends on your party affiliation.Liberals seem convinced that an Ohio voting law upheld by the Supreme Court on Monday is a devious plot ...
Published: 06/12/18
Trumpís tougher Cuba policy having little impact on Tampa area

Trumpís tougher Cuba policy having little impact on Tampa area

TAMPA ó June 16 will mark a year since President Trump announced a tougher Cuba travel policy, but unlike in much of the nation, the changes donít seem to have hurt local bookings to the island.The number of people traveling between Tampa and Havana ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18