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Apr-12-2007 11:41printcomments

Group of House Republicans Push for Beer Tax

For nearly 30 years, the state beer tax has been $2.60 per 31-gallon barrel, or eight-tenths of one-cent per bottle.

beer on bar

(SALEM) - A group of House Republicans wants a nickel-a-beer tax increase to help pay for 300 more state troopers, the Ashland Daily Tidings reported.

Reps. Sal Esquivel of Medford, Brian Boquist of Dallas and Wayne Krieger of Gold Beach want to give the Oregon State Police a dedicated funding source outside of the state's general fund, partly so the department can resume around-the-clock patrols.

"This is not about putting a tax up just to have a tax up," Esquivel told the paper. "It's a matter of preservation of the state police force."

Gov. Ted Kulongoski has proposed that placing a surcharge on auto insurance premiums could pay for 139 new state troopers, a proposal that has not gained traction in the state Legislature.

In recent years, Esquivel said the state police force has "been eroded and eroded to the point that they are almost non-existent."

In 1976, in his Jackson County district, there were 40 troopers; today, there are just 11, he said.

Despite supporting a separate bill backed by the House Republican Caucus to dedicate 1 percent of the general fund to the state police, Esquivel said he is pressing on, even if some in his party are upset that he is proposing a tax increase.

"I am not a bit afraid of doing a beer tax," Esquivel said. "I don't owe the beer industry a thing, they are lobbyists."

For nearly 30 years, the state beer tax has been $2.60 per 31-gallon barrel, or eight-tenths of one-cent per bottle.

Under the bill, a quarter of the estimated $42 million the tax would generate annually would go to fund alcohol rehabilitation and detox programs.

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Hank Ruark April 14, 2007 10:15 am (Pacific time)

T-O-B et al: Yr box needs window, from which to observe realities on our roads. Troopers do much more than you credit them for; ask any cooperating local/agency, including those you name.

Hank Ruark April 14, 2007 6:47 am (Pacific time)

Vol: Thanks for meaningful response much closer to realities. See Op Ed just-up for some more of same. DO suggest you fire (in slightly different tone !) dead-on at legislative targets too. That's what meaningful dialog here s'posed-to-do, and why we work at it. Holler at ME, any time, too; that's only way I continue to learn...

Think Outside the Box April 14, 2007 3:29 am (Pacific time)

The best news ever that the State Police might be fazed out of existence and a group of House Republicans wants to ruin the progress? As if people do not have it hard enough they considered hiking car insurance premiums for more State Troopers.....enough of this already! People are having a hard enough time surviving and with the advent of the cell phone, the need for police should be less. Most emergencies call for EMT, Fire Dept., larger staff in Emergency Rooms.....not more State Troopers.

Volstead-Act-Up-Revolt April 14, 2007 3:04 am (Pacific time)

Hank, You got it right! It is not the same but ugly heads are never exactly the same when they show up again. What upsets me is this attitude among many in government to take a little here and take a little there, with the hope that most people will not notice....which is usually correct. People do their complaining when their money runs out and then say, "What happened?" The point is to speak up before they start this nonsense. The listed politicians expect to take in about 170 million a year, use 25% for rehabs (which are needed but are also just another business) the rest goes to the State Troopers. Someone seems to be doing favors.

Hank Ruark April 13, 2007 8:09 pm (Pacific time)

Queer --I say that advisedly, referring to the fact I thought the Volstead Act had been repealed...but here it is, resurrected from the Twenties, in all its original glory...if that's what I perceive.

Retired Contractor April 13, 2007 6:12 pm (Pacific time)

Sal Esquivel is a moron! His IQ was too low to get into the Airborne back in the 60's, so he only qualified for either the Navy or marines. Now he is a legislator that has bamboozled his Medford area voters. He will be gone in 2008. Not as bad as that loser V. Berger, though.

Volstead -Act-Up-Revolt April 13, 2007 5:47 pm (Pacific time)

Oh Henry, Did you catch the fact that the tax is to hire more State Droupers? That is why they were mentioned. And I do not dislike law enforcement. They treat people with such dignity even teenage boys in jail for trivial marijuana stuff. I used to hate anyone in law enforcement but I do not have the energy to hate...... but I do see them for what they are. The fact that for the second time people dared me to confront a cop proves that you may be at least at a civil disadvantage to these public servants. That will be the day when I bow to my sanitation man. And actually now that they came up, I have a great need and respect for my garbage men. But the garbage men with dice. I have seen dozens of times with my own eyes how they selectively abuse people. You should do something to get arrested, just for fun and you will see how nice they really are. Something simple like stealing a Hershey Bar would do. How about disturbing the peace by yelling at your dog.....if the cop has it in for you because you live next door and there are property line disputes, watch how you are "taken care of" but these "public servants". By the way, I have confronted cops multiple times in my life, as long as I knew I had them where I legally need them to be ie: a place with many witnesses. I even slept with a few, and they stink in bed; performance wise that is.

Hank Ruark April 13, 2007 4:17 pm (Pacific time)

To all: STORY is re beer and taxes, after 30 yrs.-free. Save Imus-type responses and retorts for face-to-face with cops...if you dare to do so. If NOT, why impose it on all others here ?

Phony Spotter April 13, 2007 1:40 pm (Pacific time)

Does JAFO stand for Jack Ass Fool?

Phony Spotter April 13, 2007 1:23 pm (Pacific time)

Sal Esquivel calls the beer industry lobbyists. What in the hell is he? He is doing the same for the State Police. He says, "I do'nt owe the beer industry a thing." Does he owe the State Police that are pushing this something??????????....if so what is his self-benefit? Don't tell me that he is worried about the public! All is Crap!

Hello Mr. Anti-Volstead April 13, 2007 12:21 pm (Pacific time)

If you do not know how bad and corrupt people in police work are by now, you must be a crook or stupid yourself. I dismiss "you" because "you" obviously believe that a group of people that can not think for themselves and go into a B.S. government sinecure job are so Holy. Most people in law enforcement are sick and limited. Do your research before shouting off your big cop mouth! They just arrested 11 correction officers in New York after five years of complaints or horrendous abuse. If that happened, how much did they really do and what are the real numbers? The fact that you can get in trouble for mouthing off to a Cop or State Douper proves my point. Who in the hell are they? They are just employees of the county or state and no I do not call them if I have a problem. I call a lawyer. They are 99% useless blood-sucking bullys and criminals and so you must be! I have no patience for your kind of crap anymore. I have seen with my own eyes for decades and read in newspapers and T.V. but the worst is what I have seen with my own eyes such as two cops beating up an old man outside my building. A man with an injury from the second world war. That was 20 years ago. This poor old guy had a metal plate in his head and basically called the cop a dumb Mc. because they were man-handling this sick old man who was having a psychotic episode. Law enforcement is either stupid or sick almost 100% of the do us all a favor and drop dead!

Your Boss Man April 13, 2007 11:26 am (Pacific time)

State Troopers are just another governmental pain in the ass. How about hiring more nurses and people in social services instead of supporting Corrections Corporation of America which is just a company that has been allowed to institute slavery. Pretty soon, if you drink too much coffee when driving they will say you are under the influence. Screw all of you hicks with your military hick perspectives. Wake Up! We need less petty government not more and certainly not more taxes!

Volstead-Act-Up-Revolt April 13, 2007 11:22 am (Pacific time)

That is my point. They do whatever they want and no one stops them until they crash into a van filled with Nuns.

JAFO; April 13, 2007 8:05 am (Pacific time)

"the biggest drunks"???,even from a liberal slant that's absurd. ,but you are free to relay this opinion to the next one you meet.

Hank Ruark April 13, 2007 6:32 am (Pacific time)

VAUP: See comment re CBS firing Imus. Doubt if help found here; you may wish to see counselor. Then, too, you could wave down any State Trooper --for easy test-run, you understand.

Hello Mr. CopHater! April 13, 2007 5:52 am (Pacific time)

"The State Troopers are the biggest Drunks of all!" ??? Statements like that simply cause rational people to dismiss anything you say.

Volstead-Act-Up-Revolt April 12, 2007 10:17 pm (Pacific time)

Hank, help me on this one. F-this "tax the people to death government". The State Troopers are the biggest Drunks of all!

JAFO; April 12, 2007 7:50 pm (Pacific time)

why not a dime? It's a good idea and what about legalizing and taxing marijuana too? I'll place a legal bet the OLCC has had several raises in pay over the last thirty years!

Hank Ruark April 12, 2007 5:56 pm (Pacific time)

Ed: Can't apply that escape here...this one has been tax-resistant for 30 years. Time someone asked-why and how-managed...allathatime.

Ed De La Cruz April 12, 2007 4:19 pm (Pacific time)

Seems that for the last three years all i hear is:let"s tax this and let"s tax that,Are you all from Calif.?

Hank Ruark April 12, 2007 1:18 pm (Pacific time)

To all: THIRTY YEARS ?? Makes one believe that OREGONIAN quote from another lobbyist so blessed: "Been that way for 30 years...and I can keep it that way, too." (Re-phrased, but that is sense of what he said. Wonder where all the clear- thinking legislators were, all that time ? Check out the volume and velocity of "corporate campaign contributions" for solid clue...then see OCPP for documentation of fact re fable on corporate tax payments and corporate-abused tax loophole situation, too.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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