New Mixed Drink Tax Hits Bars Across Texas

Its a New Year and with that comes new taxes. One of those taxes will hit you next time you have a mixed drink at bars across the state.
By Michaela MacDonald

LUBBOCK, TX -- Bar customers in Texas will now pay an 8.25% tax on their mixed drinks.

"Just like you pay sales tax on your food, now you'll just have that tax also included on your alcohol. Most other states do that as well," said Nick Muscari, owner of Nicks Sport's Bar.

He says the state's new liquor tax gives you more transparency on your drink bill. 

"The new liquor tax is basically allowing us as a business to show you the liquor tax that we are already incurred instead of building it into the price of your drinks," said Muscari.

This new tax comes after the state legislature reduced the liquor tax on bars from 14 to 6.7%. Some bars in other parts of the state are lowering their drink prices to balance out the higher tax, but Muscari says the rising price of alcohol will prevent many local bars from doing the same.

"Pretty sure no one is going to lower their prices but they probably wont raise them as regularly as they would just because we can pass on some of that liquor tax onto the consumer," said Muscari, "I've talked to a few other people and you know the price of liquor has gone up and most people haven't increased their prices too drastically, so this will be a little bit of a way to balance out those increases."

Muscari says he doesn't think the new tax will scare off customers.

"I really don't think it should affect customers too drastically. I mean you are looking at a quarter price change on the average drink or a $3 drink, a little more expensive for something a little higher end, but shouldn't be a huge difference," he said.

This new tax is expected to bring in $21 million to the state this next year, and cities and counties are expected to get over $6 million.

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