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15 April 2008
Taxes Done While You Drink
Carmine Sodora, a certified public accountant in New Jersey came up with an interesting idea back in 2005.  Sodora spends the 10 weeks leading up to the April 15 tax deadline in the United States in local taverns and pubs.

He takes his tax filing service - Tavern Tax to the local bars on week nights and weekend afternoons.

His clients get to sip their beverages and mingle while Carmine completes their taxes.

California's Democrat to Tax a Six Pack Another $1.80
California Assemblyman Jim Beall, Jr., Democrat -San Jose has proposed a bill to raise the tax on beer sold in California.  The sin tax could generate another $2 billion per year for California.

Beall went on to say "..."health and law enforcement services that must cope with the havoc -- traffic accidents and fatalities, domestic violence, and illnesses -- that is fueled by the alcohol industry... It’s time for the beer industry to help us with the staggering burden it has helped to create. As responsible corporate citizens, breweries should be willing to pay their fair share of the damage that alcohol wreaks on society’’.

Yet another lifestyle sin tax with lots of interesting facts to "support it":
  • In 2005, alcohol-related traffic crashes claimed 1,574 lives and injured 30,810 in California.
    (probably more crashes and injuries can be attributed to sleepy drivers)
  • In 2004, alcohol played a role in 3,691 deaths statewide.
    (in 2004 65k died from heart disease (preventable), 53k malignant neoplasms (preventable), 10k accidents (preventable), 7k influenza and pneumonia (preventable), 7k diabetes (preventable))
  • Two-thirds of the alcohol-related costs for health care and prevention are borne by government programs.
    (prevention is a cost to be mostly covered by government. health care, we can only wonder what contribution is made as there is no state health care in California except whatever welfare type coverage)
  • The tax could make beer harder for teens to obtain because of higher prices.
    (cost has never been a deterrent for teens. if we raise alcohol to actually be expensive and unlikely to be bought by minors due to costs, we would destroy the alcohol industry).
Very short sighted legislation, especially in this time and state of the economy.

25 March 2008
If You Live in Pennsylvania You Still Can't Buy Beer at the Grocery Store
Pennsylvania's Liquor Control Board cleared the way for Wegmans grocery to begin selling beer, wine and 'hard' alcohol in it's supermarket cafes in six stores within Pennsylvania. But wait!

24 February 2008
In Pittsburgh, It Would Be Wise To Remember 1794
Washington leads his troops to western Pennsylvania - Metropolitan Museum of Art

Back in 1791, the new federal government under the pressure of Federalist Alexander Hamilton approved taxes on distilled spirits. The taxes were discriminatory forcing small producers to  pay per gallon taxes while larger producers paid a flat tax.  The taxes
were intended for the federal governement assuming the state debts incurred during the Revolutionary War. (Hamilton also worked on creating a national debt and the means to pay it off, and setting up a national bank).

By 1794 the drink tax tension became an armed conflict at the Oliver Miller Homestead in South Park Township, Pennsylvania.  George Washington and Alexander Hamilton used the conflict to test the powers of the new federal government.  Martial law was declared in Pennsylvania and Virginia and a federal militia of around 15,000
marched into Monongahela, Pennsylvania.

14 February 2008
Only in Utah Part Two
South Salt Lake City Logo

Imagine owning a bar, pub or brewpub and being told you couldn't sell your business.

In South Salt Lake, Utah, that's exactly what owners of such drinking establishments are being told. To add to their pain they are being given a
mere four-months to sell their businesses. Otherwise, the only way they can
sell is if the business moves out of South Salt Lake.

Council Chairman Roy Turner said  "There's irrefutable evidence . . . that there is a very close correlation between crime and the consumption of alcohol."

Only in Utah!

11 February 2008
Broadway Ale Work - The Little Brewery That Might Never Be
Broadway Ale Works Logo

Downtown Fresno, California a plan is brewing between two friends and one of their wives.

A former furniture in the family since the 1920's provides the backdrop.

The plan is to open a micro brewery in downtown Fresno.  A privately owned small business that would provide a center of commerce, night life and social interaction in the transitional neighborhood.

But the City of Fresno along with Cleveland, Ohio based developer Forest City have other ideas for the privately-owned space. Last year Fresno gave Forest City sole rights to redevelop a six-block area in which the slated brewery building is within.

So now the brewery is in limbo while Forest City readies it's plans.

26 January 2008
Legislators Trying to Ban Cold Beer
only in Utah
Utah - Still the right place

Only in Utah would elected officials try to ban the sale of cold beer. That's exactly what some politicians in Utah are trying to do.

The Utah Senate's Republican Caucaus came up with the brilliant idea to ban the sale of cold beer in an ill-fated attempt to stop on premises drinking  and over-drinking by purchasers.

Now someone give me a cold one, before we can't get one in U-ta-aaa.

24 January 2008
Obama and Paul Win Brewery Vote
Great Basin Brewing's Beer Election
Barack ObamaRon Paul

Great Basin Brewing in Sparks, Nevada conducted a week long caucaus vote.

For each beer you ordered during the week you got one vote.

Barack Obama (Democrat) and Dr. Ron Paul (Republican) were elected by the beer caucaus at Great Basin.

Great Basin plans on having another 'election' come fall for the general election.

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