Alcohol tax passes La. Senate, heads back to House with amendments

Alcohol tax passes La. Senate, heads back to House with amendments

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The alcohol tax heads back to the Louisiana House with less than two days to fix the state's budget crisis.

HB 27, which was authored by Rep. Kenny Cox, D-Natchitoches, passed the Louisiana Senate Tuesday by a vote of 38 yeas and 0 nays.

On Friday, the alcohol tax hike failed to get the 70 votes needed to pass in the House. After two days of negotiations, the bill was advanced from the House to the Senate after a 76-25 vote Sunday night.

The bill proposes raising the price on various types of alcohol. The tax on a can of beer would go up by less than a penny.

Taxes on most types of alcohol have not been raised since the 1940s.

Overall, HB 27 with the amendment, which was added by Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, would contribute $6.7 million to the current fiscal year's budget shortfall and will bring in an estimated $25 million next year. The bill was originally forecasted to bring in $9 million before the end of the fiscal year and approximately $27.7 million next year.

Supporters of the bill say money from the alcohol tax could help eliminate the need for deep cuts to higher education and healthcare. Opponents of the bill believe that the raised taxed rates could put the state out of line with neighboring states.

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