New Tax on Mixed Drinks - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/29/03

New Tax on Mixed Drinks

Buying a round of drinks in Savannah will soon put a bigger dent in your wallet. Savannah City Council is imposing a three percent tax on mixed drinks. This will not affect beer and wine. The tax will go into effect on July 1, and won't affect only bar customers, but bar owners more than you may realize. While cities like Athens, Atlanta, and Augusta all have this tax, bar owners say it's just not that easy to implement.

"The problem for me right now is executing and tabulating and submitting the taxes to the city," said Trina Brown of the Rail Pub in downtown Savannah.

Brown says separating just liquor drinks from all sales to add the tax will be difficult.

"I've got to start figuring out my inventory more closely, I've got to start monitoring and implementing new procedures for my employees to follow," she said.

She says there is a solution to this problem, but now it's too late.

"I'd like to see them take the amount off the top, not out the back end, meaning when I receive it from my distributor, just let me pay a flat tax on the bottle then and there," she suggested.

What all this could mean for customers is higher drink prices, something Brown hasn't done in five years. She says she may have to, "to take care of my time, and to take care of training my staff, and making sure that if I do submit it late for any reason, I've got money to pay the penalty fee."

Bar owners we spoke with say that if they do have to raise drink prices, they usually do it in $0.25 increments.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com

Powered by Frankly