A proposed bill that would double the state’s beer, wine and liquor tax took a big step backward Monday when the chairman of the House Health Committee removed it from the agenda.

Chairman Don Perdue, D-Wayne, supports the bill and is the one and only sponsor of it. Perdue’s bill would double the per-barrel tax from $5.50 to $11.00. The additional money would be used to fund substance abuse services in the state.

Perdue says he agreed not to move the bill forward but he still believes it’s a good idea.

“I think it needs to happen and I was hopeful the (Tomblin) administration would see this as an opportunity to do something profound,” Perdue said.

The House of Delegates will soon be dealing with the governor’s prison overcrowding bill that includes a provision for substance abuse programs for those who have been in jail in hopes of reducing recidivism. Perdue says those programs will need funding and doubling the beer tax would have been a way to do it.

Del. Perdue says the beer lobby should get behind the idea.

“I don’t want to lose the opportunity to continue to reinforce to the industry that they can voluntarily step up and be the help that we need,” Perdue said. “They could be supportive of the State of West Virginia in a very profound way at a very, very, very minimal cost.”

Perdue says he plans to continue to push the issue.


bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • John

    "How is the tax increase on tobacco so popular? I don't care about either one, but how can you tax tobacco products and not alcohol products? Could it be that all of our politicians are drunks?"

    I should have said "increase the tax" above. We all know both are already taxed. Everything is taxed. I hear there is a proposal to tax the air we breath coming up.

    • Larry

      I would say yes, a good portion of them are drunks, many also have bad moustaches, dyed hair, and wear wigs, all tale-tale character flaws.

  • John

    How is the tax increase on tobacco so popular? I don't care about either one, but how can you tax tobacco products and not alcohol products? Could it be that all of our politicians are drunks?

  • Brian

    I think this is actually being dropped, because everybody knows it would be tremendously unpopular with the constituents.

  • Larry

    It's my understanding that Tomblin drinks, so I am sure he won't get behind this.

    • cutty77

      He smokes too,and Thats made no difference did it.

  • Wowbagger

    Long ago in a geography class I learned an important lesson. A small state with a long border and several population centers just inside that border paired with one or more population centers just outside that border has two choices:

    1) Keep taxes and prices high and drive business to the bordering states.

    2) Keep taxes and prices low and capture business from those same bordering states. Make the additional revenues on VOLUME!

    Traditionally West Virginia's old guard politicos have stupidly chosen option 1. Why not try option 2 and make some money for WV residents for a change.

    Don Perdue, D-Wayne is obviously one of these idiots and needs to be replaced!

  • Jon

    The real story here is once again we have a democrat wanting YOU to pay once again for HIS pet project. These projects never end nor do the democrats asking you to fund them. Geez, fork over your own money and quit stealing ours.

    • Shadow

      Andy Warhol had it right, everyone looks for his 15 minutes of fame. Pols do it by proposing laws.

  • ShinnstonGuy

    Instead of trying to tax us to death, why don't they try fixing things. How about the rampant waste from the DOH? Or how about the fact that only one person at the DMV knows how to do anything, yet 50 people work there? Or maybe they should take a look at the bureaucracy in the Dept of Ed? Oh wait, they did...never mind.

    • Teufel

      I absolutley agree, we taxed to death to fund such waste

      • cutty77

        We are THE 13TH MOST TAXED STATE IN THE COUNTRY,and that was 2 years ago we may have moved up from that spot.LOL

  • wvgreene

    So, the idea was to tax wine, beer and liquor to treat PRESCRIPTION drug abuse and addiction.

    Now is a bad time to tax alcohol, especially beer. The craft beer industry is starting to boom across the US. The craft beer or "micro brew" industry has historically located in areas with strong tourism. WV is just now starting to attract such brewmasters to set up shop.

    The craft beer brewmasters are true entrepreneurs who generally expand their operations into restaurants and regional markets.

    Craft brewers currently provide an estimated 108,440 jobs in the U.S., including serving staff in brewpubs. Growth of the craft brewing industry in 2012 was 15% by volume and 17% by dollars compared to growth in 2011 of 13% by volume and 15% by dollars. As of March 18, 2013, the Brewers Association is aware of 409 brewery openings in 2012 (310 microbreweries and 99 brewpubs) and 43 brewery closings (18 microbreweries and 25 brewpubs).

  • Pudge

    ...because wine causes so many problems in our state.

  • Brian

    Haaaa people crying about corruption in WV. It's been bad for a longgggg time. Didn't we have a Governor or Senator publicly say that both sides were going to take him a bag of money and whoever took the bigger bag was who he'd be voting with?

  • C.Hoffman

    Did he really say very, very, very? What's profound about it? Minimal cost to whom? A beer tax to address substance abuse programs. What about the pharmaceuticals industry? Under perdue's logic why not legalize heroin, meth & crack for taxation to combat substance abuse?


    This Is BS. So the beer company and distributor lobbyists convinced this delegate to withdraw this bill. What a joke the legislative session has become. Nothing but corrupt politicians and hidden agendas being presented. Abuse of alcoholic beverages create so much havoc in our society and can be measured easily. Once again our legislators have opted to surrender to lobbyists and more campaign money!!!

    • cutty77

      Its the Golden Rule.He who has The Gold Makes The Rules.It has been that way forever,and will always be.