Having a few cocktails with friends and family, whether in a bar or at home, could be a lot harder on your budget soon if some Illinois legislators get their way.

We all know that Illinois' budget is in a crisis and that higher taxes on certain items is what we'll have to pay to get things turned around. We may hate it, but it's what needs to happen I guess. The big joke is that soon Illinois will find a way to tax the air we breathe, and although that may be a stretch, soon they could be placing a higher tax on some of the things we drink.

WTVO reports that Governor Pritzker's office has proposed a capital plan to help pay for the $41.5 billion six-year infrastructure project that involves higher taxes on alcohol among other things.

According to WTVO;

The per-gallon tax on beer and cider would rise 4.6 cents, wine would rise 66 cents and liquor would rise more than $4.

In all, the proposed tax is expected to bring in an estimated $120 million for the state.

Obviously, local bar owners are not pleased with this new proposal. Illinois Licensed Beverage Association President and owner of Souse's and Stumpy's Pub in Rockford, Jay Gesner told WTVO;

There's a lot of places that won't make it if they get all these taxes through and the raises, and the minimum wage,” Gesner said. “It'll shut some people down."

 

"Where the taxes aren't as high, they'll go get gasoline, maybe they'll go over and have a few cocktails across the Statelines," Gesner said. “It affects us."

Sadly, I believe Gesner is right. People will flock to places where the prices are cheaper. I hope Illinois lawmakers take a hard look at how their decision will affect local business owners before they make it.

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