Budget & Tax

Curtis Shelton | October 1, 2018

Taxes sobering for State Question 792

Curtis Shelton

The modernization of Oklahoma’s beer laws was delivered in vintage fashion with Budweiser Clydesdales arriving at the state Capitol on Oct. 1 to make a “symbolic delivery” of the new laws brought about by State Question 792.

State Question 792 brings with it many changes to the state’s alcohol industry, including allowing liquor stores to sell refrigerated beer and allowing grocery stores and gas stations to sell beer with more than 3.2% alcohol by volume. While many Oklahomans will be celebrating this policy change, there’s an important question to ask: How much of the price of cold beer goes to state coffers?

According to the Beer Institute, “Taxes are the single most expensive ingredient in beer, costing more than the labor and raw materials combined.” The Tax Foundation has produced a map that allows you to look at how high beer taxes are in each state. Oklahoma comes in at 15 in the nation with 40 cents per gallon in excise taxes added to the price of beer. This is the highest rate among our regional neighbors. Arkansas is right behind Oklahoma at 34 cents per gallon; Missouri rounds out the bottom at 6 cents per gallon.

StateBeer Excise Tax RateNational Rank
Oklahoma40 cents per gallon15
Arkansas34 cents per gallon19
Texas20 cents per gallon31
Kansas18 cents per gallon33
Missouri6 cents per gallon49
Curtis Shelton Policy Research Fellow

Curtis Shelton

Policy Research Fellow

Curtis Shelton currently serves as a policy research fellow for OCPA with a focus on fiscal policy. Curtis graduated Oklahoma State University in 2016 with a Bachelors of Arts in Finance. Previously, he served as a summer intern at OCPA and spent time as a staff accountant for Sutherland Global Services.

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