A new Texas state law taxing the purchase of mixed beverages is going into effect this month.
House Bill 3572, quietly signed by Governor Rick Perry in June, cuts taxes on bars and restaurants but shifts the tax burden to people buying cocktails and coolers.
The law cuts the state’s mixed beverage gross receipts tax, which bars and restaurants pay, from 14 percent to 6.7 percent. But to compensate, the law imposes a brand new 8.25 percent sales tax on mixed beverages that will have to be paid by drinkers.
Bars and restaurants can still lower their drink prices so as not to burden their customers, but that’s optional on their part. Doing so would cut into their new tax break.
Three officials from the Texas Restaurant Association, which gave out more than $1.2 million in campaign contributions to both parties between 2004 and 2012, testified in support of the bipartisan bill before the Texas House Ways and Means Committee back in May. However, the president of the Texas Bar and Nightclub Alliance, which thinks the new system is too complicated, testified against it.