“An additional increase on alcohol taxes in Kansas will only send more business out of state."

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback presented a budget and tax plan on Wednesday that includes an exorbitant tax increase on beer and all other alcohol products. The announcement to increase taxes 100 percent on alcohol purchases has prompted strong opposition from industry members and consumers.

“Kansas already has incredibly high taxes on beer, wine, and spirits. In fact, these high taxes are what drive business across the border to our neighboring states, especially Missouri,” said Jason Watkins, executive director of the Kansas Beer Wholesalers Association. “An additional increase on alcohol taxes in Kansas will only send more business out of state, hurting the state’s bottom line and the viability of hundreds of small businesses in Kansas.”

This sentiment was echoed by Terry Parr, president of LDF Sales and Distributing.

“A 100 percent tax increase would be especially damaging to the Kansas beer industry, where we have been experiencing sales decreases year over year for several years,” he said.

Watkins also expressed concern the proposed tax increase would lead to job losses within the industry.

“Kansas beer distributorships and craft beer breweries are locally owned and operated businesses that employ hundreds of Kansans, pay great wages and make tremendous contributions to their local communities through charitable giving and economic benefit,” he said. “Doubling the tax on beer will send a large number of these people to the unemployment line and cause great harm to the communities in which our members live and serve.”