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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Changes Over Time for Distilled Spirits
Jurisdiction Date Range 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
AR (Arkansas)
1/1/2003 - 12/31/2005 $2.50 16.00%  16.00% 3.00%  3.00%$1.00 per gallon for alcohol content of less than 26.25% but more than 6.25%.6 Citations
AR (Arkansas)
1/1/2006 - 1/1/2018 $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
CT (Connecticut)
1/1/2003 - 5/3/2011 $4.50          2 Citations
CT (Connecticut)
5/4/2011 - 1/1/2018 $5.40          3 Citations
DE (Delaware)
1/1/2003 - 8/31/2017 $3.75          $2.50 per gallon for alcohol content of 25% or less.5 Citations
DE (Delaware)
9/1/2017 - 1/1/2018 $4.50          $3.00 per gallon for alcohol content of 25% or less.4 Citations
DC (District of Columbia)
1/1/2003 - 9/30/2009 $1.50 10.00%Yes5.75%4.25% 9.00%Yes5.75%3.25%4 Citations
DC (District of Columbia)
10/1/2009 - 6/30/2011 $1.50 10.00%Yes6.00%4.00% 9.00%Yes6.00%3.00%5 Citations
DC (District of Columbia)
7/1/2011 - 9/30/2013 $1.50 10.00%Yes6.00%4.00% 10.00%Yes6.00%4.00%6 Citations
DC (District of Columbia)
10/1/2013 - 1/1/2018 $1.50 10.00%Yes5.75%4.25% 10.00%Yes5.75%4.25%6 Citations
IL (Illinois)
1/1/2003 - 8/31/2009 $4.50          $0.73 per gallon for alcohol content of more than 14% and less than 20%.3 Citations
IL (Illinois)
9/1/2009 - 1/1/2018 $8.55          $1.39 per gallon for alcohol content of more than 14% and less than 20%.6 Citations
KS (Kansas)
1/1/2003 - 6/30/2010 $2.508.00%10.00%Yes5.30%4.70% 8.00%Yes5.30%2.70%8 Citations
KS (Kansas)
7/1/2010 - 6/30/2013 $2.508.00%10.00%Yes6.30%3.70% 8.00%Yes6.30%1.70%9 Citations
KS (Kansas)
7/1/2013 - 6/30/2015 $2.508.00%10.00%Yes6.15%3.85% 8.00%Yes6.15%1.85%9 Citations
KS (Kansas)
7/1/2015 - 1/1/2018 $2.508.00%10.00%Yes6.50%3.50% 8.00%Yes6.50%1.50%9 Citations
KY (Kentucky)
1/1/2003 - 5/31/2005 $1.929.00%    9.00%    6 Citations
KY (Kentucky)
6/1/2005 - 1/1/2018 $1.9211.00%    11.00%    7 Citations
LA (Louisiana)
1/1/2003 - 3/31/2016 $2.50          2 Citations
LA (Louisiana)
4/1/2016 - 1/1/2018 $3.03          3 Citations
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).

1/1/2003 - 6/30/2011 $1.50          2 Citations
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).

7/1/2011 - 1/1/2018 $1.50 9.00%Yes6.00%3.00% 9.00%Yes6.00%3.00%5 Citations
MN (Minnesota)
1/1/2003 - 12/31/2005 $5.03 9.00%Yes6.50%2.50% 9.00%Yes6.50%2.50%4 Citations
MN (Minnesota)
1/1/2006 - 1/1/2018 $5.03 2.50%  2.50% 2.50%  2.50%7 Citations
NE (Nebraska)
1/1/2003 - 6/30/2003 $3.00          2 Citations
NE (Nebraska)
7/1/2003 - 1/1/2018 $3.75          6 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.

1/1/2003 - 7/31/2003 $2.05          Liquor over 22% ABV is taxed at $2.05 per wine gallon; liquor over 14% ABV and up to 22% ABV is taxed at $0.75 per wine gallon.3 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.

8/1/2003 - 1/1/2018 $3.60          Distilled spirits over 14% and up to 22% are taxed at $1.30 per gallon.4 Citations
NJ (New Jersey)
1/1/2003 - 7/31/2009 $4.40          3 Citations
NJ (New Jersey)
8/1/2009 - 1/1/2018 $5.50          4 Citations
RI (Rhode Island)
1/1/2003 - 6/30/2013 $3.75          2 Citations
RI (Rhode Island)
7/1/2013 - 1/1/2018 $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.

1/1/2003 - 12/31/2005 $2.96          7 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.

1/1/2006 - 1/1/2018 $2.96 5.00%  5.00%     8 Citations
TX (Texas)
1/1/2003 - 12/31/2013 $2.40 14.00%Yes6.25%7.75%     12 Citations
TX (Texas)
1/1/2014 - 1/1/2018 $2.40 14.95%Yes6.25%8.70%     15 Citations
WA (Washington)

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.

1/1/2003 - 12/7/2011Yes           
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.

12/8/2011 - 1/1/2018 $14.2523.70%17.00%  17.00%10.00%37.50%Yes6.50%31.00%7 Citations
WI (Wisconsin)
1/1/2003 - 7/26/2005 $3.28          4 Citations
WI (Wisconsin)
7/27/2005 - 1/1/2018 $3.36          5 Citations