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Beer Institute fears Clinton will impose new excise taxes.

President-elect Clinton is likely to increase excise taxes on beer in order to reduce the deficit and stabilize the economy, general counsel Gary Nateman of the Beer Institute said at a meeting last Wednesday.

At a meeting of the Colorado Beer Distributors Association on Wednesday, Nateman told members Clinton is likely to boost the excise tax because it is politically convenient.

"An excise tax is one of the first approaches in reducing a deficit or funding a program because the machinery (to collect the tax) is already in place," Nateman said. "And some people who don't approve of drinking feel the more you tax the product, the less likely people will be to consume it."

Nateman said one factor that might persuade Clinton not to boost the tax is its cost in jobs.

Up to 6,000 people lost their jobs when the federal government doubled the excise tax to 16 cents per six-pack two years ago, he said. Clinton has vowed to increase employment.

Another increase could be even more devastating for the brewing industry, Nateman added.

"Nobody is doing great since the last excise tax and the next one would probably kill us," he said.

Nateman and David Rehr of the National Beer Wholesalers Association in Virginia said brewers also should expect restrictions on advertisements, national requirements for bottle deposits and prohibition-type movements under the Clinton Administration.
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Title Annotation:Bill Clinton
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Dec 21, 1992
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