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
Alabama (529)
1/1/2021Yes           
Alaska (579)
1/1/2021 $12.80          

$2.50 per gallon for alcohol content of less than 21%.

2 Citations
Arizona (580)
1/1/2021 $3.00          2 Citations
Arkansas (530)
1/1/2021 $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
California (531)
1/1/2021 $3.30          3 Citations
Colorado (532)
1/1/2021 $2.28          3 Citations
Connecticut (5100)
1/1/2021 $5.94          3 Citations
Delaware (535)
1/1/2021 $4.50          

$3.00 per gallon for alcohol content of 25% or less.

4 Citations
District of Columbia (4108)
1/1/2021 $1.50 10.00%Yes6.00%4.00% 10.25%Yes6.00%4.25%7 Citations
Florida (536)

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 This surcharge was repealed as of July 1, 2007.

1/1/2021 $6.50          

$2.25 per gallon for alcohol content of less than 17.259%.

4 Citations
Georgia (537)

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.

1/1/2021 $1.89          2 Citations
Hawaii (538)
1/1/2021 $5.98          2 Citations
Idaho (539)
1/1/2021Yes           
Illinois (540)
1/1/2021 $8.55          

$1.39 per gallon for alcohol content of more than 14% and less than 20%.

6 Citations
Indiana (577)
1/1/2021 $2.68          

$0.47 per gallon applies to an alcoholic beverage that contains 15% or less.

4 Citations
Iowa (541)
1/1/2021Yes           
Kansas (584)
1/1/2021 $2.508.00%10.00%Yes6.50%3.50% 8.00%Yes6.50%1.50%9 Citations
Kentucky (543)
1/1/2021 $1.9211.00%    11.00%    7 Citations
Louisiana (544)
1/1/2021 $3.03          3 Citations
Maine (545)
1/1/2021Yes           
Maryland (546)

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).

1/1/2021 $1.50 9.00%Yes6.00%3.00% 9.00%Yes6.00%3.00%5 Citations
Massachusetts (575)
1/1/2021 $4.05          2 Citations
Michigan (547)
1/1/2021Yes           
Minnesota (548)
1/1/2021 $5.03 2.50%  2.50% 2.50%  2.50%7 Citations
Mississippi (549)
1/1/2021Yes           
Missouri (550)
1/1/2021 $2.00          2 Citations
Montana (551)
1/1/2021Yes           
Nebraska (552)
1/1/2021 $3.75          5 Citations
Nevada (553)

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.

1/1/2021 $3.60          

Distilled spirits over 14% and up to 22% are taxed at $1.30 per gallon.

4 Citations
New Hampshire (554)
1/1/2021Yes           
New Jersey (555)
1/1/2021 $5.50          4 Citations
New Mexico (556)
1/1/2021 $6.06          2 Citations
New York (557)
1/1/2021 $6.44          

$2.54 per gallon for alcohol content of 24% or less.

2 Citations
North Carolina (558)
1/1/2021Yes           
North Dakota (559)
1/1/2021 $2.50 7.00%Yes5.00%2.00% 7.00%Yes5.00%2.00%9 Citations
Ohio (560)
1/1/2021Yes           
Oklahoma (561)
1/1/2021 $5.56 13.50%  13.50%     5 Citations
Oregon (562)
1/1/2021Yes           
Pennsylvania (563)
1/1/2021Yes           
Rhode Island (564)
1/1/2021 $5.40          3 Citations
South Carolina (576)

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.

1/1/2021 $2.96 5.00%  5.00%     8 Citations
South Dakota (565)
1/1/2021 $3.932.00%    2.00%    5 Citations
Tennessee (566)
1/1/2021 $4.40 15.00%  15.00%     7 Citations
Texas (567)
1/1/2021 $2.40 14.95%Yes6.25%8.70%     14 Citations
Utah (568)
1/1/2021Yes           
Vermont (569)
1/1/2021Yes           
Virginia (570)
1/1/2021Yes           
Washington (571)

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.

1/1/2021 $14.2523.70%17.00%  17.00%10.00%37.50%Yes6.50%31.00%7 Citations
West Virginia (572)
1/1/2021Yes           
Wisconsin (573)
1/1/2021 $3.36          5 Citations
Wyoming (574)
1/1/2021Yes           
United States (578)

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.

1/1/2021 $10.80          

$4.05 per gallon for distilled spirits bottled at 30 proof (15% alcohol).

3 Citations