June 7, 2013
Oregon liquor authorities voted Thursday to extend a 50-cent surcharge on every bottle sold, but delayed a decision on whether to tack on another 25 cents, which Democratic lawmakers have requested.
The half-buck fee comes on top of the additional charges the Oregon Liquor Control Commission imposes on sales. It raises about $16 million a year, which goes into the state general fund.
The surcharge was put in place four years ago at the request of then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who was facing a steep drop in state revenue projections. The OLCC, which has authority to levy surcharges on liquor, agreed but set a four-year time limit. The new limit goes to June 30, 2015.
State budget writers are counting on the additional 25 cents to balance the 2013-15 budget. It would raise an additional $8 million a year.
During a special telephone conference meeting OLCC board members said they wanted to reopen the public comment period on the extra surcharge. They didn’t give a reason and have not set a date for when they might vote on the added tax.
Source: The Oregonian