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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Update on the Beer Tax (HB 2461)

Based on the reaction to my first post and the storm gathering on the Brew Crew email list, I'd say the outrage to a proposed Oregon beer tax is already well-fueled. I was going to hold off on further posting until we knew more, but given how many of you have asked what we can do, I thought a comment on that point might be useful.

The best campaigns are those with some coordination, and I'm going to follow the lead of Brian Butenschoen, the Brewers Guild Director. He has been very good about assembling facts and key talking points. While I can imagine a number of immediate actions we might take, like sending letters to our legislators or setting up Facebook pages, I personally would like us all to be singing the same song. We don't want to inadvertently work at cross-purposes.

The legislative session won't end for several more months, and so far as I know, this isn't even on the radar yet. My recommendation: hold your fire for now, but be prepared to jump into action when the call comes. This thing is such a dud that I'm not too worried about its prospects. We can afford to see how things develop.


  1. Jeff, you are right. This is a marathon, not a sprint. If things follow form, by the time the session ends, this proposal will likely be tweeked several times and more tax proposals will be introduced. The key is to let your local legislators know you do not support a punitive tax directed at the Oregon brewing industry. There will be plenty of opportunities for mass letter-writings and such. But this amplifies the need to know where your own local legislators stand on these matters (preferably before they get your vote.)

  2. It's never too early to show your opposition! I agree that this is a marathon, we have to be ready to start the run right now cause it is a long way until the finish line.

    Is there anything we (or I) can do right now?!

  3. There is nothing stopping you from writing a letter now and writing a letter later. Phone calls also work.

  4. The finance committee had two sessions on the bill this week. Today's public testimony was full of people who's lives were saved by treatment programs which are being cut They pleaded with the members to pass the bill despite it's inconvenience in the name of saving lives. As someone who opposes the bill i was even slightly moved. I wouldn't assume the bill is going to die right out of the gate without a mass letter writing campaign to the members of that committee.