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Rep. Cera not happy with proposed beer, wine tax increase

Ohio Governor John Kasich's proposed increases to beer and wine taxes are not sitting well with local distributors, representatives, and consumers.

The crack of a tab on a warm afternoon it's a familiar sound, but pretty soon that sound may come with a new price tag in Ohio.

Gov. Kasich's latest proposal to "modernize" beer and wine taxes has many in the Ohio Valley unhappy.

“This trickle down thinking of theirs keeps giving more to the wealthy while the working men and women of Ohio keep footing the bill,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire.)

According to published reports, the governor's proposal would bring in around $75 million over two years, but distributors disagree.

“The effects of increasing the tax on beer is definitely going to affect working class men and women who will pay the tax and the other effect it will have on us being close to the border of West Virginia, when our beer prices go higher people will go there to buy beer and decrease our overall sales in our territory and with that we have a loss of volume and of jobs,” said Jeff Paolina, president of Muxie Distributing.

Locals like Rep. Cera also argue that tax commissioner Joe Testa's claims that an increase would be equivalent to one cent per can of beer is wrong.

Even more importantly, Cera points out where the money would go.

“What the governor is proposing is taking the increases on beer and wine and cigarettes to fund an income tax which benefits the wealthy, so it's not dealing with heroin addiction, it's not dealing with job creation,” Cera said.

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