HB166 Increased Beer Tax Could Cost NH Jobs

House Bill 166 introduced this year could cost NH jobs if passed.

The analysis of the bill reads as follows:

This bill increases the beer tax and designates the increase to the alcohol abuse prevention and treatment fund.

Seems harmless enough right?

Let's take a look at the town of Merrimack.  In that town you'll find a Plant that brews Budweiser beer.  This Merrimack plant while employing a very large number of people is the smallest Budweiser plant in the country.

Budweiser as you may already know was bought out by InBev and one of the concerns the unions had when the purchase was made was that InBev would follow through in what we've already seen them do to cut costs and look to cut back on labor.  The Union in meeting with InBev did come to an agreement however.

The merged company will make a “good faith commitment” to keep the breweries open, says a recent SEC filing, “provided there are no new or increased federal or state excise taxes or other unforeseen extraordinary events which negatively impact” brewing operations.

So InBev has agreed to keep the breweries here open provided there are no new taxes.  HB166 is a new tax and it is directed especially toward beer.  This could be used as the excuse to shut down the Merrimack plant which is as I pointed out already, the smallest plant in this country.

The bill lists the sponsors as Rep. Osborne, Merr 12; Rep. Weed, Ches 3; Rep. Cooney, Graf 7; Rep. French, Merr 5; Rep. Pilliod, Belk 5.  Have these reps looked into the repercussions this bill could have?  The idea behind it is they hope to gain $4 million in new revenue from this tax but how much will be gained if we lose a facility employing hundreds of employees in return?  How much will we lose if those hundreds of employees now are forced into collecting benefits putting even further strain on the state?

If this bill passes and leads to the closing of the Merrimack plant every single job lost should be placed 100% on those state reps who support this measure.