An alcohol excise tax is usually a tax on a fixed quantity of alcohol. Producers, importers, wholesalers, and sometimes retailers pay alcohol taxes; however, the costs of these taxes are passed down to consumers through increased prices.
The excise taxes paid by producers, importers, wholesalers, and retailers increase the amounts used to calculate sales tax; therefore, consumers then pay sale tax on the excise taxes.
The federal government collections approximately $1 billion per month from excise alcohol taxes on spirits, beer, and wine. Taxes on spirits are significantly higher than beer and wine at $13.50 per gallon while beer is taxed at $18 per barrel and wine is $1.07-$3.40 per gallon. This is because spirits have higher alcohol content than the other categories.
In Wyoming, all wine and spirits must be bought at government monopoly stores. There is no additional state excise tax in Wyoming, and sales tax is typically around 5%. In New Hampshire, all spirits must be bought at government monopoly stores, and the state adds $0.30 in excise tax per gallon of beer and $0.20 to wine, but there are no sales taxes.
Washington has the highest spirits tax in the United States at $32.52 per gallon. This is over $10 more than the second-highest tax in the state of Oregon at $21.98.