New Bill May Double Massachusetts Alcohol Tax

Lawmakers Hope Move Will Generate Revenue and Set Money Aside for Substance Abuse


According to Mass Live, a new bill being proposed by a Massachusetts lawmaker would double the state’s excise tax on alcohol. Representative Kay Kham, a Democrat out of Newton, has proposed two new bills. The first of which would double the state’s alcohol tax and the second would place a new tax on beverages that are high in sugar.


As noted in the article, the two taxes could generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the state. Some money could be set aside for substance abuse programs. The new bill would change tax rates that have been on the books for decades. The state currently taxes alcohol at different rates depending on the type. 

Per the state’s website current alcohol excise tax rates are:

  • Malt beverages – $3.30/31 gal. bbl.
  • Still wine, including Vermouth – $.55 wine gallon
  • Champagne and sparkling wine – $.70 wine gallon
  • Alcoholic beverages containing 15% or less of Alcohol by volume – $1.10 wine gallon
  • Alcoholic beverages containing more than 15% of Alcohol but not more than 50% – $4.05 wine gallon
  • Alcoholic beverages containing more than 50% of Alcohol by volume – $4.05 proof gallon
  • Alcohol sold in containers of one gallon or less – $4.05 proof gallon
  • Cider containing more than 3% but not more than 6% of Alcohol by weight – $.03 wine gallon

How Raising Alcohol Tax Can Help

Studies have shown that increasing the alcohol tax can help reduce excessive alcohol consumption. In addition, funds can be used to establish programs to treat substance use disorders in the state.