BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Alcohol will cost a bit more for people in Louisiana as a tax increase on beer, wine and liquor heads to the governor's desk.
HB 27, which was authored by Rep. Kenny Cox, D-Natchitoches, received final passage from the Louisiana House Wednesday with a 71-23 vote. The bill had been passed by the Senate Tuesday night, 38-0.
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.
This will be the first tax raise on most types of alcohol since the 1940s.
Overall, HB 27 with the amendment, which was added by Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, would contribute $4.7 million to the current fiscal year's budget shortfall and will bring in an estimated $19.2 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.
The bill will now go to Governor John Bel Edwards, who is expected to sign it into law. The tax increase would go into effect on April 1.