Number of the Day: 12 cents

NJ Spotlight | August 2, 2010

Despite a relatively high per capita income, New Jerseyans are thought to be a beer-drinking crowd, which might explain the state’s relatively low excise tax on the beverage. In addition to its 7 percent sales tax, New Jersey taxes beer at 12 cents per gallon much lower than wine or spirits. That ranks it 39 of the 50 states in terms of taxing beer, ahead of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Colorado but behind New York, Connecticut and California. Total revenue raised from alcohol taxes is expected to be $107 million this year (the state does not publicly break out beer tax revenues from those of other alcohol sales). New Jersey has a long history with beer; in the 19th century it was home to many beer barons with breweries lining the state. New Jersey’s Krueger Brewery was the first to produce beer in a can in 1935. Microbreweries are more common these days, but one of Anheuser-Busch’s 12 plants — now powered in part by solar panels — still operates in Newark.