Oregon Wine Industry Facing Potential 1,700% Tax Increase

Lawmakers in Oregon have proposed raising taxes on the wine industry. The increase works out to a 1,700% increase, which comes out to roughly $2.00 per bottle. Elin Miller, with the Oregon Wine Council, said after the challenges of 2020, not only the pandemic, but devastating wildfires and smoke taint, this increase will hit the industry hard.

“Our tasting rooms across the state had an 80% drop in revenue. And then, overall, because we are able to sell direct to consumer and other ways, through wine clubs, etc. But, even with that, because of restaurants, it was a 60% drop in revenue overall for most of the wineries.”

Supporters of the legislation say will help those struggling with addiction, but she says that can’t come at the expense of the Oregon wine industry.

“There’s no question that we need to look at doing more as a community for addiction, and I think that is one of the main emphasis here.”

Miller added alcohol is the third largest source of revenue for the state of Oregon, yet only 1% of the state’s budget goes to alcohol treatment, and 3.5% of Oregon wine and beer revenue collected is dedicated to addiction recovery.

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