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Uncle Sam Wants Your Booze To Be Cheaper

Next round is on me. (Photo by Alan Turkus via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
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Whether you're planning to drink in dark bars or on sunny patios this summer, your liquor tab may soon get a whole lot cheaper.

A proposed tax bill aimed at helping small and large distilleries grow, could mean that the price of cocktails at bars and bottles at liquor stores could eventually drop. If passed, the bipartisan federal bill would lower the current tax rate of $13.50 per proof gallon of liquor to just $2.70 per proof gallon for the first 100,000 gallons that a distillery produces, according to the L.A. Times. After the first 100,000 gallons, the rate would only go back up to $9 per proof gallon distilled. By lowering the tax rates, the hope is that distilleries—especially small ones that face significant financial and bureaucratic challenges—would have an easier time getting off the ground. In turn, the price of liquor sold at stores and in bars could go down, assuming the distillers pass the lowered costs on to their happily imbibing customers.

Right here in Los Angeles, there are a few burgeoning distilleries—including Greenbar Craft Distillery, The Spirit Guild and Loft & Bear— which could potentially benefit from the reduced tax burden. The proposed bill is supported by American Craft Spirits Association, which represents over 300 small distilleries around the country, and the Distilled Spirits Council, which works with around 120 small distiller affiliates nationwide. If the bill passes, we may even see more distilleries pop up around Los Angeles.

It's not clear exactly how or how soon the proposed bill would directly affect the cost of booze at your local bar—we may still be facing down $15 cocktails for a while—but in the meantime, there's always happy hour.