State tax collections took another double-digit dip in March but one tax is holding up well in the recession: the one for alcoholic beverages.
According to Department of Revenue numbers, taxes paid on alcoholic beverages increased 8 percent in March and are up 1.7 percent for the fiscal year, which ends June 30. In fiscal 2009, the state has collected about $124 million from liquor taxes, up from $122 million during the first nine months of fiscal 2008.
That may not seem like much, but consider that the two biggest categories of taxes – income and sales – are off 8.8 percent and 6.3 percent for the year. Corporate income taxes are off 25.1 percent, and motor fuel taxes more than 10 percent.
Even taxes on tobacco products are down 2.7 percent.
Liquor tax collections are one of the few positives for revenue collections that, in total, are down 8.6 percent this fiscal year.
The revenue department report came out only a few days after the 2009 General Assembly session closed. Late in the session, Senate Republicans blocked a vote on legislation allowing communities to decide whether they want to allow alcoholic beverage sales at stores on Sunday.