5 percent tax hike on liquor effective Nov. 1

On a voice vote, the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board on June 14 voted to increase the markup on wholesale and retail liquor by five percent. By law, the money generated by the markup goes directly to the General Fund, but under the General Fund budget adopted in the 2017 regular session, it is earmarked for the court system ($2.2 million) and district attorneys ($6 million) in the 2018 fiscal year only. Currently, Marshall and Calhoun counties have local liquor taxes to fund prosecution services.

The rule change (20-X-4.02) increases the board’s markup from 30 percent to 35 percent. It takes effect Nov. 1.

Dean Argo, government relations manager for Alabama’s ABC Board, said the markup amount was last altered in 1983.

ABC Board officials said a $10 bottle of liquor after markups and taxes currently costs $21.50. With the approved increase, the same bottle will cost $22.32, 82 cents more.

The ABC Board currently imposes its 30 percent markup on liquor sold in ABC stores, and a 16.99 percent markup on sales to private stores. The liquor is then taxed at 56 percent of the markup price. Sales taxes also apply.