81% of Oregonians oppose a beer tax increase

PORTLAND, Ore. — More than 80% of Oregonians oppose increasing beer taxes according to a recent survey conducted by Patinkin Research Strategies.

Oregon likely voters were asked how they felt about the state’s current beer taxes. A majority (57%) said the beer tax rate is “about right.” While another quarter (24%) said taxes on beer are “too high.” Only 10% say the tax rate is “too low.”

This comes as the Oregon Health Authority released a proposal for the next biennium budget that would raise $293 million from new beer, wine and cider taxes. Oregon currently collects $40 million biennium from these taxes. The proposal would result in an 800% tax increase on Oregon’s brewers, winemakers, cideries and consumers at a time when people are struggling with the COVID-19 recession.

According to the survey, more than 7-in-10 (74%) respondents said they are concerned additional taxes will hurt Oregon’s brewing industry, something that is an essential part of the state’s economy and identity.

Oregon is home to nearly 400 breweries, which help create 43,000 jobs and $2 billion in wages across the state. Taxes are already the most expensive ingredient in beer. In Oregon, nearly 47% of the retail cost of beer goes to taxes — that’s half of a beer. Like other businesses, Oregon’s brewers are paying the new commercial activities tax along with all other business taxes. Tax increases make it harder for these businesses to invest in rehiring, equipment, upgrades and expansion, and will result in higher prices for consumers.

In order to survive, Oregon’s breweries, wineries, distilleries, restaurants and bars, all of which support jobs in local communities, need the support of our elected officials, including certainty and stability in the tax code. These businesses are already the third largest source of revenue for the state — behind income taxes and the state lottery.

The survey of 600 likely November 2020 voters in Oregon was conducted via live phone calls, as well as an online panel. Interviews were conducted May 18-22, 2020. The margin of error for the sample as a whole is plus or minus 4.0 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence.


About the Oregon Beer and Wine Distributors Association

The Oregon Beer & Wine Distributors Association (OBWDA) is a full-service, professional trade association representing beer and wine distribution companies in Oregon. Our primary mission is advocating on behalf of member companies in the legislative, regulatory, legal and public policy arenas. The OBWDA is a valuable resource to policy makers and the public on alcohol regulation, educational programs designed to combat underage drinking and drunk driving, and the many good-paying jobs we create.