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...And it starts Live free or die? Hardly.

#1 User is offline   billvill 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:27 AM

N.H. beer-tax plan leaves bad taste


Hike would fund alcohol programs; grocers fear losing customers
By Chris Camire, ccamire@lowellsun.com
Updated: 01/16/2013 06:35:09 AM EST


PELHAM -- A six-pack of Shipyard beer at Tedeschi Food Shops in Dracut costs $8.99. Just a mile up the road, at Ray's Stateline Market in Pelham, N.H., the same six-pack goes for $7.49.

Some warn this price advantage New Hampshire grocers enjoy could be wiped out if a proposed 33 percent increase in the wholesale beer tax is approved.

"I would be against any tax increase," said Paul Marchand, who owns Ray's, where on any given day at least half the cars sitting in the parking lot sport Massachusetts license plates.

Reps. Charles Weed, D-Keene, and Richard Eaton, D-Greenville, have filed a bill that would hike the tax from 30 to 40 cents per gallon. The move would raise an estimated $4.3 million for prevention and treatment of alcohol abuse.

John Dumais, president of the New Hampshire Grocers Association, said Granite State grocers get about 60 percent of their business from neighboring states.

"Those 60 percent come to New Hampshire because we have a good story to tell -- low prices, no bottle bill," said Dumais. "Everything we have is a good deal. If you start raising the prices, there is less reason for them to come."

Besides scaring package-store owners, the tax increase could also threaten New Hampshire's emerging micro-craft brewery industry. Small breweries like Smuttynose and Redhook in Portsmouth are attracting tourism and new residents to the Granite State, according to Scott Schaier, a lobbyist for the beer-wholesalers trade association. Schaier said a tax hike could prompt customers to abandon craft beers for cheaper brands.

"Small craft brewers don't have the efficiency. They don't have the volume for buying glass and packaging materials, so they're not as well protected against price increases," Schaier said.

The beer tax is 10.6 cents per gallon in Massachusetts, 35 cents in Maine, 26.5 cents in Vermont and 24 cents in Connecticut.

New Hampshire is the only one of these states that does not have a bottle tax. For instance, customers pay a deposit on each bottle of beer that ranges from 5 cents in Massachusetts and Connecticut to 15 cents in Maine and Vermont.

Weed, one of the beer tax's sponsors, told the New Hampshire Union Leader that it is "irresponsible" for the state to rely on excise taxes when it could instead raise taxes on products that cause health problems, such as beer.

"Government serves a necessary service that isn't provided by the private sector," Weed said. "Revenue-starved government is not capable of doing what needs to be done."

How much would the price of beer increase by if the bill were signed into law?

A 24-pack of beer consists of 2.25 gallons, meaning the proposed tax would increase the price of a case of beer by about 23 cents. While Schaier said this may not sound like much, he said it could have a significant economic impact if just a small percentage of beer fans change their drinking habits.

New Hampshire has the second-highest per-capita beer consumption in the country, according to a 2012 report by the Beer Institute, a lobbying group. While beer consumption in New Hampshire fell 1.8 percent between 2003 and 2011, it declined 7.5 percent nationally.

Nearly 66 percent of New Hampshire residents had a drink in a 30-day period in 2011, second only to Wisconsin, according to the report.

Massachusetts, meanwhile, has taken steps in recent years to lower the cost of beer.

In 2010, voters passed a law that gave them cheaper beer by cutting the state's 6.25 percent sales tax on alcohol to 5 percent. Massachusetts lawmakers had increased the tax from 5 percent the year before, as a way to address significant budget shortfalls.

While New Hampshire businesses fret over the proposed tax, Massachusetts business leaders said it could convince shoppers who frequent stores in New Hampshire to keep their dollars in the Bay State.

"Anything that can be done to keep Massachusetts shoppers here is a good thing," said Bill Rennie, vice president of the Massachusetts Retailers Association.



Read more: http://www.lowellsun...e#ixzz2I92PdWiJ
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#2 User is offline   billvill 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:29 AM

This is what happens when a once staunch Republican State votes in Democrats across the board.
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#3 User is offline   Robert Goulet 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:50 AM

They are no longer living free, so they must be dying.

This is also what happens when progressives ruin states like Massachusetts and New York and move somewhere like New Hampshire.
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#4 User is offline   billvill 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:00 AM

View PostRobert Goulet, on 16 January 2013 - 08:50 AM, said:

They are no longer living free, so they must be dying.

This is also what happens when progressives ruin states like Massachusetts and New York and move somewhere like New Hampshire.

That's exactly what happened, and it's only the beginning. They are now talking up an increase in cigarette tax, and I'm sure gasoline is not far behind. Also, ask Coach Bob how much his property taxes have gone up over the last 5 years. Free indeed! <_<
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#5 User is offline   coach bob 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:14 AM

If you notice where those guys are from it is from the major college areas where young voters are influenced. They all suck (dems). As far as property tax goes, it's not as bad as you think but remember that in my town, Pelham, we are building a new fire station and the teachers contract (final year) had some ridiculous payment clauses which I guarentee won't be repeated. And for the record, anyone check out their pay stubs? Obamacare is already in full effect and as for the fiscal clif... well nothing changed after signing it. They still fell over the edge.
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#6 User is offline   FanSince74 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:02 AM

View Postcoach bob, on 16 January 2013 - 09:14 AM, said:

If you notice where those guys are from it is from the major college areas where young voters are influenced. They all suck (dems). As far as property tax goes, it's not as bad as you think but remember that in my town, Pelham, we are building a new fire station and the teachers contract (final year) had some ridiculous payment clauses which I guarentee won't be repeated. And for the record, anyone check out their pay stubs? Obamacare is already in full effect and as for the fiscal clif... well nothing changed after signing it. They still fell over the edge.



I just did. WTF with the SS tax??? Have to wait to get hubbys yet, his is weird at the end of the calender year.
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#7 User is offline   Robert Goulet 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:13 AM

View PostFanSince74, on 16 January 2013 - 11:02 AM, said:

I just did. WTF with the SS tax??? Have to wait to get hubbys yet, his is weird at the end of the calender year.

He only gets paid at the end of the calender year?

That must be a hell of a check.
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#8 User is offline   Badger Bob 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:07 PM

View PostFanSince74, on 16 January 2013 - 11:02 AM, said:

I just did. WTF with the SS tax???



It went up to 6.2% from 4.2% starting with earnings from Jan.1 forward.


Nothing like a 2% pay cut to start the year off right. :doh:
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#9 User is offline   coach bob 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:20 PM

View PostBadger Bob, on 16 January 2013 - 12:07 PM, said:

It went up to 6.2% from 4.2% starting with earnings from Jan.1 forward.


Nothing like a 2% pay cut to start the year off right. :doh:/>



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#10 User is online   Astro_Mikey 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

Beer party rather than tea party, amirite?
Dump some booze in a near by body of water in protest!


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#11 User is offline   FanSince74 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

View PostRobert Goulet, on 16 January 2013 - 11:13 AM, said:

He only gets paid at the end of the calender year?

That must be a hell of a check.



HA HA

No, he gets his vacation pay that he uses during the holidays the paycheck before he actually takes the vacation. The taxes aren't the norm, and I don't feel like trying to figure it out.
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#12 User is offline   FanSince74 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:47 PM

View PostBadger Bob, on 16 January 2013 - 12:07 PM, said:

It went up to 6.2% from 4.2% starting with earnings from Jan.1 forward.


Nothing like a 2% pay cut to start the year off right. :doh:/>


We did have some kind of memo at work about the SS tax, but I didn't pay much attention. So much for my minimal pay raise that we got in august.
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#13 User is offline   Badger Bob 

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:53 PM

View PostFanSince74, on 16 January 2013 - 12:47 PM, said:

So much for my minimal pay raise that we got in august.


Yeah, tell me about it. The rate actually went back up to the same amount that it was a couple years ago.
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#14 User is offline   Hockey Stick 

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:25 PM

View PostAstro_Mikey, on 16 January 2013 - 12:22 PM, said:

Beer party rather than tea party, amirite?
Dump some booze in a near by body of water in protest!


/Fish need booze too



It's too expensive to do that. Tell the fish to buy their own.
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