Idaho beer, wine tax hike hearing draws crowd - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho beer, wine tax hike hearing draws crowd

BOISE, Idaho. - More than 50 people signed up to testify at the Idaho Legislature on a bill to hike taxes on beer and wine by more than three-fold to raise millions for state substance abuse treatment.

Roger Batt, the Idaho Grape Growers lobbyist, told the House Revenue and Taxation Committee Monday the tax hike was a "pet project" of a government-reform group that would hurt Idaho's growing industry.

Keith Allred, head of The Common Interest that's pushing the bill to boost the 15 cent per gallon beer tax to 52 cents and the 45 cent per gallon wine tax to $1.56, won support from cities, law enforcement and private citizens who said drinkers would pay just pennies more per pint; all to pay for worthwhile programs.

Testimony continues Tuesday, with 34 people still due to speak.

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