Alcohol Beverages Taxes

Distilled Spirits

Laws specifying the two major types of taxes levied on distilled spirits – “specific excise taxes” (taxes levied on the quantity of a beverage) and “ad valorem excise taxes” (taxes levied on the price of a beverage).

Users familiar with the previous APIS analysis of Alcohol Beverages Taxes (2003-2007) are strongly advised to review the information under the "About This Policy" tab and the "Variables” tab. There have been important changes in the ways that variables are defined, the data included and excluded, and the assumptions underlying the APIS analysis of this policy topic.

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Jurisdiction Policies as of Control Specific Excise Tax Per Gallon for 40% Alcohol Ad Valorem Excise Tax On-Premises for 40% Alcohol Ad Valorem Excise Tax Off-Premises for 40% Alcohol Additional Taxes for 15-50% Alcohol Citations
Wholesale Tax Rate Retail Tax Rate Sales Tax DOES NOT Apply Sales Tax Rate Sales Tax Adjusted Retail Ad Valorem Rate Wholesale Tax Rate Retail Tax Rate Sales Tax DOES NOT Apply Sales Tax Rate Sales Tax Adjusted Retail Ad Valorem Rate
AL (Alabama)
1/1/2017Yes           
AK (Alaska)
1/1/2017 $12.80          $2.50 per gallon for alcohol content of less than 21%.2 Citations
AZ (Arizona)
1/1/2017 $3.00          2 Citations
AR (Arkansas)
1/1/2017 $2.50 14.00%  14.00% 3.00%  3.00%$1.00 per gallon for alcohol content of less than 26.25% but more than 6.25%.7 Citations
CA (California)
1/1/2017 $3.30          3 Citations
CO (Colorado)
1/1/2017 $2.28          2 Citations
CT (Connecticut)
1/1/2017 $5.40          3 Citations
DE (Delaware)
1/1/2017 $3.75          $2.50 per gallon for alcohol content of 25% or less.3 Citations
DC (District of Columbia)
1/1/2017 $1.50 10.00%Yes5.75%4.25% 10.00%Yes5.75%4.25%6 Citations
FL (Florida)

Florida previously imposed a surcharge of 3.34 cents on each ounce of liquor sold at retail for consumption on premises. This surcharge was repealed as of July 1, 2007.

1/1/2017 $6.50          $2.25 per gallon for alcohol content of less than 17.259%.4 Citations
GA (Georgia)

Georgia imposes an additional tax of $1.89 per gallon on the "importation for use, consumption, or final delivery" into the state of all distilled spirits.

1/1/2017 $1.89          2 Citations
HI (Hawaii)
1/1/2017 $5.98          2 Citations
ID (Idaho)
1/1/2017Yes           
IL (Illinois)
1/1/2017 $8.55          $1.39 per gallon for alcohol content of more than 14% and less than 20%.6 Citations
IN (Indiana)
1/1/2017 $2.68          $0.47 per gallon applies to an alcoholic beverage that contains 15% or less.4 Citations
IA (Iowa)
1/1/2017Yes           
KS (Kansas)
1/1/2017 $2.508.00%10.00%Yes6.50%3.50% 8.00%Yes6.50%1.50%9 Citations
KY (Kentucky)
1/1/2017 $1.9211.00%    11.00%    7 Citations
LA (Louisiana)
1/1/2017 $3.03          3 Citations
ME (Maine)
1/1/2017Yes           
MD (Maryland)

For the period January 1, 2003 through January 2, 2008, a 5 percent general sales tax applied to alcoholic beverages, and no specific ad valorem tax applied to alcoholic beverages. For the period January 3, 2008 through June 30, 2011, a 6 percent general sales tax applied to alcoholic beverages, and no specific ad valorem tax applied to alcoholic beverages. For the period beginning July 1, 2011 a 9 percent ad valorem tax on alcoholic beverages applies, in lieu of the 6 percent general sales tax. See Md. Ann. Code, Tax - General, § 11-104(a), (g) (as amended by 2007 Md. Laws 1st Sp. Sess. Ch. 6, 2011 Md. Laws 571, and 2011 Md. Laws 572).

1/1/2017 $1.50 9.00%Yes6.00%3.00% 9.00%Yes6.00%3.00%5 Citations
MA (Massachusetts)
1/1/2017 $4.05          2 Citations
MI (Michigan)
1/1/2017Yes           
MN (Minnesota)
1/1/2017 $5.03 2.50%  2.50% 2.50%  2.50%7 Citations
MS (Mississippi)
1/1/2017Yes           
MO (Missouri)
1/1/2017 $2.00          2 Citations
MT (Montana)
1/1/2017Yes           
NE (Nebraska)
1/1/2017 $3.75          5 Citations
NV (Nevada)

An additional excise tax of $1.50 per gallon may be imposed on all liquor containing an alcohol content of more than 22% but, only if the federal gallonage tax imposed by 26 U.S.C. § 5001 is reduced to $9 per gallon. This additional tax is not collected.

1/1/2017 $3.60          Distilled spirits over 14% and up to 22% are taxed at $1.30 per gallon.4 Citations
NH (New Hampshire)
1/1/2017Yes           
NJ (New Jersey)
1/1/2017 $5.50          4 Citations
NM (New Mexico)
1/1/2017 $6.06          2 Citations
NY (New York)
1/1/2017 $6.44          $2.54 per gallon for alcohol content of 24% or less.2 Citations
NC (North Carolina)
1/1/2017Yes           
ND (North Dakota)
1/1/2017 $2.50 7.00%Yes5.00%2.00% 7.00%Yes5.00%2.00%9 Citations
OH (Ohio)
1/1/2017Yes           
OK (Oklahoma)
1/1/2017 $5.56 13.50%  13.50%     3 Citations
OR (Oregon)
1/1/2017Yes           
PA (Pennsylvania)
1/1/2017Yes           
RI (Rhode Island)
1/1/2017 $5.40          3 Citations
SC (South Carolina)

Base tax rate is $2.72 per gallon plus a 9% surtax of $0.24 added to the base rate, for a total of $2.96 per gallon.

1/1/2017 $2.96 5.00%  5.00%     8 Citations
SD (South Dakota)
1/1/2017 $3.932.00%    2.00%    5 Citations
TN (Tennessee)
1/1/2017 $4.40 15.00%  15.00%     7 Citations
TX (Texas)
1/1/2017 $2.40 14.95%Yes6.25%8.70%     14 Citations
UT (Utah)
1/1/2017Yes           
VT (Vermont)
1/1/2017Yes           
VA (Virginia)
1/1/2017Yes           
WA (Washington)

The $14.25 per gallon Specific Excise Tax rate listed in the table is for off-premises sales of spirits. Washington imposes a Specific Excise Tax of $9.23 per gallon for on-premises sales of spirits.

APIS does not report taxes in States where the index beverage is wholly or partially sold in State-run retail stores or through State-run wholesalers. The tax rates for Washington are reported beginning on December 8, 2011, when privatization began as a result of passage of Initiative 1183.

1/1/2017 $14.2523.70%17.00%  17.00%10.00%37.50%Yes6.50%31.00%7 Citations
WV (West Virginia)
1/1/2017Yes           
WI (Wisconsin)
1/1/2017 $3.36          5 Citations
WY (Wyoming)
1/1/2017Yes           
US ( United States)

Spirits are taxed at the rate of $13.50 on each proof gallon and a proportionate tax at the like rate on all fractional parts of a proof gallon. A proof gallon is one liquid gallon of spirits that is 50% alcohol at 60 degrees F. Distilled Spirits bottled at 80 proof (40% alcohol) would be 0.8 proof gallons per gallon of liquid and taxed at a rate of $10.80 per gallon. Distilled Spirits bottled at 30 proof (15% alcohol) would be 0.3 proof gallons per gallon of liquid and taxed at a rate of $4.05 per gallon.

1/1/2017 $10.80          $4.05 per gallon for distilled spirits bottled at 30 proof (15% alcohol).3 Citations