I read earlier this week in the Alton Daily News, that Illinois State Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) is sponsoring a bill which would tax Illinois wine sales at two cents per gallon, with the money going to support the Illinois wine industry that has quickly grown to 100 wineries. The funds would go to hire a professional oenologist or viticulturalist to help the wineries in the state perfect their wine.
Just to put this in perspective, according to Wikipedia, “Missouri’s state tax on wine imposed in 1984, is now 12 cents per gallon, and supports the state Missouri Wine and Grape Program, which provides scientific and marketing support for Missouri wines. The state hired a viticulturalist to assist in restoring the wine industry. Missouri State University’s fruit experiment station began working with winemakers to determine grape varieties suitable for Missouri’s climate.The state government hopes to encourage the local wine industry by promoting Missouri regionalism: integrating grape agriculture with winemaking, the restaurant business, and tourism.”
Knowing that Missouri is 12 cents per gallon and Illinois is only asking for two cents, amazes me. I think this tax is essential in growing the Illinois wine industry and from a marketing perspective, helping spread the word throughout the U.S. of the great wine that is currently being made here in the Midwest.