BRIEFS: S.C. ranks 7th in beer taxes; Whipper to leave House

Beer tax high in South Carolina, report says

Staff reports  |  Here’s some fodder for conversation around the bar:  For every gallon beer that South Carolinians drink (that’s about 11 beers – way more than you should have in one sitting in a bar), they’re paying 77 cents in state taxes.

According to a new post by the Tax Foundation, the Palmetto State has the seventh highest excise tax on beer, perhaps a hangover (yes, we wrote that) from the days of sin taxes around the South.  The map shows Southern states generally have high taxes on beer.

According to the report, “The Beer Institute, an industry trade group, argues that “taxes are the single most expensive ingredient in beer, costing more than labor and raw materials combined,” citing an analysis that finds that the sum of taxes levied on the production, distribution, and retailing of beer exceeds 40 percent of the retail price.”

Whipper stepping down from House seat

Longtime Charleston state Rep. Seth Whipper, a Democrat, is stepping down from his North Charleston seat to take one on the bench.  He’ll become a county magistrate judge, a position he held part-time for eight years before heading to the Statehouse in 1995.

Whipper

“Rep. Whipper has been a model representative during his tenure in the S.C. General Assembly,” said Brady Quirk-Garvan, chair of the Charleston County Democratic Party.  “We wish him all the best as he moves into his new role as a magistrate judge and are glad he will continue his career serving the public . We will miss Rep. Whipper’s leadership in Charleston and look forward to electing a new generation of leadership to follow in his footsteps.”

Whipper is the third state lawmaker to step down this year.   Former Rep. Chris Corley, R-Graniteville, resigned in January following domestic violence charges. Former Sen. Kevin Bryant, R-Anderson, stepped down also in January to become lieutenant governor.

Three other state lawmakers – Sen. John Courson, R-Richland, Rep. Jim Merrill, R-Berkeley, and Rick Quinn, R-Lexington, have been suspended after being indicted in an ongoing state corruption investigation.  Their cases are pending.

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