Map: Wine Excise Tax Rates by State, 2014

February 12, 2014

Wine taxes by state are much higher than beer taxes because as alcohol content increases, taxation also tends to increase (generally speaking—there are exceptions). It’s worth noting that this relationship isn’t proportionate (excise taxes exponentially, on average).

There isn’t much consistency on how state and local governments tax wine. This rate can include fixed-rate per volume taxes; wholesale taxes that are usually a percentage of the value of the product; distributor taxes (usually structured as license fees but are usually a percentage of revenues); retail taxes, in which retailers owe an extra percentage of revenues; case or bottle fees (which can vary based on size of container); and additional sales taxes (note that this measure does not include general sales tax, only those in excess of the general rate).

Wine taxes are highest in Kentucky at $3.56 per gallon. Rounding out the top five are Alaska ($2.50), Florida ($2.25), Iowa ($1.75), and Alaska and New Mexico tied at $1.70. The lowest-taxed states are Louisiana ($0.11), California ($0.20), Texas ($0.20), Wisconsin ($0.25), and Kansas and New York (tied at $0.31). Note that this doesn’t include the states where government controls all sales (these can still be subject to ad valorem mark-up and excise taxes). Check out the wine tax map below to see where your state falls.

If you’re interested in state and national tax and regulatory issues faced by winemakers, check out the podcast we produced last year. For more info on alcohol taxes, see here. To see how wine taxation functions in each state, see this handy table from the Federation of Tax Administrators.

Follow Liz and Lyman on Twitter @elizabeth_malm and @notedlemons, respectively.

(Click on the map to enlarge it. View previous maps here.)

(All maps and other graphics may be published and reposted with credit to the Tax Foundation.)


Related Articles