Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wine Grapes: The Most Taxed Ag Product - Well Almost

Depending on what state you live in, tobacco is probably taxed more than wine grapes. But the question is, why should wine grapes  be taxed at such a high rate while HFCS is subsidized by the federal government? In case you don't know what HFCS is, it is high fructose corn sugar. The government pays subsidies to corn farmers to produce a product that is making Americans sick and obese. And don't get me started about glyphosate in wine. (Round Up - glyphosate. All that corn is Round Up ready. There must be tons of glyphosate in sugary soft drinks.) Why don't the neoprobhibs look here for a story? (Because they are fucking dumb!)
How much are wine grapes taxed? Let's start with property taxes of $77 per acre. Assuming 4 ton to the acre, this is $19.17 per ton tax. Assuming 150 gallons per ton, that is $0.17 per gallon.
Then we support the Wine Commission (locally known as the 'Good Ole Boys' Club') to the tune of $.08 per gallon and $12 per ton of grapes harvested for another $0.16 per gallon.
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board wants a cut of $0.87 per gallon.
With a small producer credit of $0.90 the federal tax rate for wine under 14% is $0.17 per gallon, but if it is a big Cabernet Sauvignon (over 14%), the rate is $0.67 per gallon.
And then there is personal property tax on winery equipment. Hard to quantify by the gallon, but on a 20,000 gallon winery with its own bottling line, it would be around $200 or about $0.01 per gallon.
Add this all up and you get $1.84 per gallon in taxes. Multiply by 150 and get $276 per ton. At four tons to the acre this all adds up to $1104 taxes per acre for growing wine grapes! It appears the government doesn't want you to grow those fucking things.
I guess this money goes to corn farmers who received $4,843,815,583 (yes, that is billions) in subsidies in 2013 or about $52 per acre.
So the government pays $52 per acre to grow a crop that is causing obesity and poor health to its citizens, and terrible damage to the environment (Gulf of Mexico, Monarch butterflies, you Google it. 488,000 results), but penalizes a healthy food like wine, which when consumed in a conscientious manor is part of a healthy life-style, to the tune of $1104 per acre.
It's crazy shit like this that makes you want to vote 'NO' for all government.
As the Chad Mitchell Trio sang in 'Rhymes For The Irreverent,'
"Should I write a letter to my congressman?
Each congressman has got two ends
A sitting and a thinking end
And since his whole success depend upon on his seat
Why bother friend?
Like I've always said, we have the best government money can buy. And you ask why I am grumpy.

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