Beer, Wine Excise Tax Revenues Show Slight Increase in 2014

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State excise tax collections for beer and wine increased by 1.9 percent during the 2014 calendar year. N.C. Department of Revenue figures show total collections of $142.3 million, an increase of $2.7 million from the 2013 calendar year.

Beer and wine wholesalers are responsible for collecting the excise tax while providing timely and accurate payment to the state on a monthly basis. Monthly tax collections are a reflection of the previous month’s beverage sales.

The excise tax on beer was responsible for $116.4 million of the overall total. Beer tax
collections were up 1.1 percent for the 12-month period. It is only the second time in four years that beer tax collections have shown an increase. Beer is taxed at a rate of 62 cents per gallon–the 9th highest beer excise tax in the U.S., according to the Tax Foundation.

The excise tax on wine generated $25.9 million in revenue for the state during 2014. Nearly all of that total was generated by sales of unfortified wine, better known as table wine. Table wine tax revenues were up 5.9 percent during 2014 and this is the fourth straight year of tax revenue growth of more than 3.5 percent. Unfortified wine is defined as a wine product with 16 percent or less in alcohol by volume, and it is taxed in North Carolina at a rate of 26.3 cents per liter which is the 25th highest wine excise tax in the U.S.

The North Carolina Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association represents 30 N.C. family-owned companies which employ 5600 persons and distribute beer and wine products to more than 18,000 retailers across the state.

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