A proposal in the legislature would increase the state's beer tax by about three cents a bottle. Scott Stenger with the Tavern League of Wisconsin says such an increase would disrupt a state tradition and an intregal part of our economy. He says increasing the tax five fold would have negative consequences on jobs and businesses.

Stenger says beer makers and taverns are a major part of our ecomony and a tax hike will make it hard for them to do business. He says it's not just a couple pennies when you consider the amount of beer that would be taxed. The proposal is expected to raise an extra $40 million for the state.

The sponsors of the proposed hike say it's needed because the state hasn't raised the tax in 37 years. Stenger says that's not a good reason to consider an increase. He says lawmakers need to weigh the potential impact on the state economy.

The tax increase would help pay for alcohol treatment and prevention programs.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (MP3 :58)

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