Briese Talks Opposition To Beer Tax Increase

LINCOLN – A pair of bills proposed in the Nebraska Legislature have caused an uproar among one of the state’s burgeoning industries.

In the hopes of creating property tax relief, bills introduced by Senators Tom Briese of Albion and Curt Friesen of Henderson call for an increase in the state’s excise taxes on beer, which would make Nebraska’s beer tax the highest in the nation.

Craft brewers from across the state have voiced their concerns about the potential tax increase, citing possible layoffs, cash flow issues, and limiting the growth of the brewing industry as results of raising the taxes. Lawmakers say that the tax increase would only equate to about ten cents per mug of beer, and that the tax could be easily passed along to consumers.

Sen. Briese says that those who are working on the bills will attempt to address the issues that have been brought up by the brewing companies, saying that modifications will be necessary if the bills were to get through committee. A hearing on the bills will be held next week before the revenue committee, where other property tax proposals will be discussed as well.