Food & Drink

This Map Shows the States With the Highest Liquor Taxes

The price of a bottle of liquor varies from state to state. Some states, like Missouri, are dirt cheap while others, like New York, make you dig a little deeper into your pockets. A lot goes into that variation, but one of the biggest factors is how much liquor is taxed by the state. A 2018 map from the Tax Foundation uses data from the Distilled Spirits Council to break down exactly how much of the cost of your bottle is going straight into the state’s coffers.

Washington state is the most eye-catching, charging $32.52 per gallon. There’s around five standard 750 milliliter bottles in every gallon, so that means Washington tacks on around $6.50 in taxes to every bottle of liquor. Oregon comes next at $22.75 per gallon ($4.55 a bottle), then Virginia with $19.93 per gallon ($3.99 a bottle), followed by Alabama with $18.27 per gallon ($3.65 a bottle) and Utah rounds out the top five with $15.38 per gallon ($3.07 a bottle).

On the other side of the equation, there are the states that barely tax, or effectively don’t tax, spirits. In Wyoming and New Hampshire, two of the 17 control states where the government owns liquor stores and distribution, the prices are so low that it’s the same as not having taxes on spirits. Missouri is next with $2 per gallon (40 cents a bottle), then Colorado with $2.28 per gallon (46 cents a bottle), followed by Texas with $2.40 (48 cents a bottle) per gallon and then Kansas with $2.50 per gallon (50 cents a bottle).

Looks like we know where we’re going to stock up on booze.