Map of State Spirits Excise Tax Rates in 2015

July 02, 2015

Compared to taxes on alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer, distilled spirits are taxed at much higher rates across the states, ostensibly to adjust for higher alcohol content. Today’s map shows how spirit excise taxes in your state compare.

Data for this map comes from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. To allow for comparability across states, they use a methodology that calculates implied excise tax rates in those states with government monopoly sales.

Washington has the highest spirit excise tax rate at $35.22 per gallon, followed by Oregon ($22.72), Virginia ($19.18), Alabama ($18.22), and Alaska ($12.80). Spirits are taxed the least in Wyoming and New Hampshire, where government-run stores have set prices low enough that they are comparable to having no taxes on spirits. Following Wyoming and New Hampshire are West Virginia ($1.89), Missouri ($2.00), Colorado ($2.28) and Texas ($2.40).

Like many excise taxes, the treatment of spirits varies widely across the states because of various factors. Spirit excise rates may include a wholesale tax rate converted to a gallonage excise tax rate; case and/or bottle fees, which can vary based on size of container; retail and distributer license fees, converted into a gallonage excise tax rate; as well as additional sales taxes (note that this measure does not include general sales tax, only those in excess of the general rate). Rates may also differ within states according to alcohol content, place of production, or place purchased (such as on- or off-premise or onboard airlines).

For more on alcohol taxes, see here.

Follow Sam on Twitter.

Get Email Updates from the Tax Foundation

We will never sell or share your information with third parties.

Follow Us

About the Tax Policy Blog

Subscribe to Tax Foundation - Tax Foundation's Tax Policy Blog The Tax Policy Blog is the official blog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.

Monthly Archive