The weather is warming, Save Jerseyans, and with Memorial Day Weekend 2023 right around the corner, New Jerseyans and millions of tourists will soon be enjoying summer beverages – including White Claws and plenty of Trulys – all across the Garden State.
New Jersey Democrats see an opportunty to make a buck.
Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17), the lower chamber’s legislative whip, introduced legislation on Thursday to create “a new taxable category of alcoholic beverages called flavored malt beverages, imposing a separate rate of taxation on flavored malt beverages pursuant to the alcoholic beverages tax and allocating the associated revenue.” His proposal (A5496) was referred to the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee for further consideration.
White Claws and Trulys are considered flavored malt beverages. The new tax rate? $4.40 per gallon.
“Though produced in a manner which incorporates certain aspects of beer brewing, much of the flavoring and alcohol in flavored malt beverages is derived from the addition of distilled spirits,” the bill’s statement explains. “This production process has the effect of creating an alcoholic beverage that is sufficiently beer-like to be taxed like beer, but sold as something else entirely. Alcoholic lemonades, alcoholic colas and cooler-type products are examples of such products.”
In other words, rather than let your girlfriend or wife enjoy their favorite summer backyard beverage in peace, Trenton is pissed that the production process is “cheating” them out of YOUR money.
We’ll keep you in the loop if/when the bill is scheduled for a hearing.