Perdue upsets package store workers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Perdue upsets package store workers

January 16, 2003

Albany - Governor Sonny Perdue has upset package store managers. Package store customers and owners will be paying more if legislature approves a tax increase.

It's all about increasing revenue for the state. Governor Perdue believes increasing the tax on tobacco and alcohol will help the state out of a financial hole. Package store managers are not happy, they not only sell alcohol, but cigarettes too.

The proposed alcohol and tobacco tax increase will not only affect customers, but also retailers. House of Spirits manager, Fred Ransom, says, "Actually it's taxed twice. Liquor business is one thing that's not fair to start with. Your not suppose to be charged tax on tax."

Stores are taxed by wholesalers and then managers like Fred Ransom have to tax customers. The same alcohol product is taxed twice. And now, Governor Perdue wants to add more. Ransom says, "I was ill about it, but nothing I can do about it."

Let's say for beer, Ransom figured out with the proposed tax increase it would cost customers almost 14-cents more per six pack of beer, but that doesn't include the seven percent state sales taxes, store and wholesale taxes. He says, "That will wind up by time consumer a quarter a six-pack."

Ransom doesn't think it will keep drinkers from stopping by, but the cigarette tax increase may do some damage to customers coming in. Ransom adds, "I think that would illuminate boarder line smokers, but folks who smoke like I have for 50 years, be kind of hard to put them down."

Cigarette taxes would increase 46-cents per pack. Tax on a carton is $1.20 right now, it would go up to $5.80.

The alcohol and tobacco tax increase would expire in four years, and can't become law without approval from the General Assembly.

posted 6:30PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com