Virginia has 3rd highest liquor taxes in U.S.

Want to know which states have the highest and lowest taxes on liquor? Virginia ranks third highest, after Washington and Oregon.

A new analysis by the Tax Foundation ranks state excise taxes on distilled spirits (whiskey, brandy, rum, gin and vodka) based on January 2019 data.

Virginia’s effective excise tax on a gallon of distilled spirits was $19.93, according to the analysis.

Distilled spirits like whiskey, brandy, rum, gin and vodka have a higher alcohol percentage than beer and wine. They are generally also taxed at a higher rate than other alcoholic beverages. State taxes on liquor are generally taxed at the wholesale level, or as license fees charged to retailers, or as bottle fees and additional sales taxes.

The distilled spirits taxes listed, which are based on data from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, exclude the states’ general sales taxes.

The Gulf states of Louisiana and Texas have some of the lower taxes, ranking 42 and 46, respectively.

Distilled Spirits Excise Taxes by State

Rank State Distilled Spirits Excise Tax per Gallon
1 Washington $32.52
2 Oregon $21.98
3 Virginia $19.93
4 Alabama $19.15
5 Utah $15.96
6 North Carolina $14.63
7 Iowa $13.07
8 Alaska $12.80
9 Maine $12.00
10 Michigan $11.99
11 Idaho $10.95
12 Ohio $9.87
13 Montana $9.78
14 Minnesota $8.96
15 Illinois $8.55
16 Mississippi $8.15
17 Kentucky $8.04
18 Arkansas $7.73
19 Vermont $7.72
20 West Virginia $7.67
21 Pennsylvania $7.24
22 Florida $6.50
23 New York $6.44
24 New Mexico $6.06
25 Hawaii $5.98
26 Oklahoma $5.56
27 New Jersey $5.50
28 South Carolina $5.42
29 (tie) Rhode Island $5.40
29 (tie) Connecticut $5.40
31 Maryland $5.02
32 North Dakota $4.92
33 South Dakota $4.67
34 Delaware $4.50
35 Tennessee $4.46
36 Massachusetts $4.05
37 Georgia $3.79
38 Nebraska $3.75
39 Nevada $3.60
40 California $3.30
41 Wisconsin $3.25
42 Louisiana $3.03
43 Arizona $3.00
44 Indiana $2.68
45 Kansas $2.50
46 Texas $2.40
47 Colorado $2.28
48 Missouri $2.00
49 (tie) New Hampshire $0.00
49 (tie) Wyoming $0.00

Source: Tax Foundation and Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

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