Merry Christmas 2019
Missouri county tax collector refuses to be nickeled (or, presumably dimed)

Celebrate continued lower alcohol excise taxes with a beer and cookie party

Overview of Christmas sugar cookies_cropped2
Some of the Christmas cookies the hubby and I make and decorate. Yes, we over-bake. And yes, we slather on the sugary icing and decorations because the mainly sugar and butter cookies themselves are not fattening enough. Gotta keep Santa (and friends, family and ourselves) happy!

Was Santa apparently full by the time he got to your house, leaving you with some extra Christmas cookies?

No worries, even if you're low on milk … or are lactose intolerant.

All the adults in your household can loosen their belts and finish off those goodies with a brew or two.

Sugar and Booze, part 1: VinePair created the infographic below with suggestions like a blonde ale for all those Santa, stocking and Christmas tree decorated sugar cookies; a chocolate porter for fudge confections; and an oatmeal stout for your grandmother's oatmeal raisin cookies.


Depending on how many extra cookies you have on hand, you might be able to push your potent potable pairings into 2020.

Booze and taxes: And the good news in that case is that the consolidated U.S. government spending and tax bill that was enacted just before Christmas includes a provision that keeps in place a lower federal excise tax rate for beer, wine and spirits.

Alcohol excise taxes were one of the first revenue sources for the United States, notes the Tax Foundation, dating to the first distilled spirits tax imposed in 1791, which sparked the Whiskey Rebellion (and which got a shout out in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway and beyond hit "Hamilton," specifically in Cabinet Battle #1).

Lawmakers have historically turned to alcohol taxes to raise emergency revenue in times of war or over budget deficit concerns. Federal alcohol excise taxes were last increased in 1991 under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990.

Then in late 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduced Uncle Sam's levy on liquor etc. But it came with a caveat. The lower tax rates applied only to the 2018 and 2019 tax years.

The taxes were set to go back up on Jan. 1, 2020, to around 5 cents per 12-ounce can or bottle of beer, 4 cents per 5-ounce glass of wine and 13 cents per 1.5-ounce shot.

Now, however, they'll stay at the TCJA lower rates for one more year, through 2020.

That's definitely worth a toast and a cookie or two or three or….

Sugar and Booze, part 2: OK. If you're worried about a sugar coma or hangover, consider a post-Christmas, pre-New Year's Eve party to celebrate the continued low alcohol excise tax rate for another year and spread your cookie wealth (and calories!) among your family and friends.

Ana Gasteyer's new single, "Sugar and Booze," is the perfect party song.

Enjoy and cheers, prost, cin cin, salud, santé, saúde, skål, za zdorovye or whatever global libation toast you prefer.

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