Want to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day with some green – or, just regular-colored – beer? Well, that brightly colored brew might be costing you a little more green than it ought to. But that all depends on where you decide to partake.
We’ve pulled together some of the best and worst states to celebrate this St. Patty’s with a cold one, or two.
If beer’s your beverage of choice, be prepared to pay more in taxes if you head to the Sun Belt. According to 2016 data from the Tax Foundation, seven of the 10 highest tax rates on beer are located in the Southeast (the other three being Hawaii, Alaska, and the District of Columbia).
According to the data, the states with the lowest taxes on beer were Wyoming, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
Tennessee, the worst offender, takes a whole $1.29 in revenue from every gallon of beer, while Wyoming pulls a mere two cents.
While some states forgo taxes on wine and spirits, all 50 and D.C. tax beer. By and large – regardless of what kind of brew suits you – those taxes are the “single most expensive ingredient” in your pint glass, according to The Beer Institute.
— Tax Foundation (@taxfoundation) October 28, 2016
The numbers are a little different when it comes to wine. The most heavily taxed vino in the states is in Kentucky – where the government adds a whole $3.30 per gallon – Alaska, Florida, Iowa, and New Mexico.
Uncle government gets the smallest drop of your bottle in Louisiana, where the tax rate is a low-gravity 11 cents, whereas as others like Utah and Pennsylvania have no excise tax on wine at all.
— Tax Foundation (@taxfoundation) June 10, 2016
It just wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without some Irish Whiskey, but if you take that shot anywhere in Washington state, Oregon, Virginia, Alabama, or Alaska, be prepared to pony up for the government’s cut of the tab. In the Evergreen State, every gallon of liquor carries a whopping extra $33.54 in taxes, according to 2016 data from the Tax Foundation.
Where are spirit taxes lowest? That would be in New Hampshire and Wyoming, which don’t have a liquor tax to begin with.
— Tax Foundation (@taxfoundation) June 4, 2016
So enjoy the feast day of St. Patrick. Have a drink, eat some corned beef, get home safely, and remember: Taxes are what the government takes from you by force to do things that usually get done better by the private sector and free market.
Nate Madden is a Staff Writer for Conservative Review, focusing on religious freedom, immigration, and the judiciary. He previously served as the Director of Policy Relations for the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. A Publius Fellow, John Jay Fellow, Citadel Parliamentary Fellow and National Journalism Center alumnus, Nate’s writing has previously appeared in several religious and news publications. Follow him @NateMaddenCR and on Facebook.