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Idaho house committee cancels beer tax plan - Brief Article

AP--The Idaho House Revenue and Taxation Committee on Friday extinguished its proposal to raise taxes on beer, wine and soft drinks. After about an hour of testimony from brewers, distributors, wine makers and restaurateurs, the panel voted 18-1 against sending the bill to the House floor.

A move by Democrats to amend the bill failed 5-14. Boise brew pub owner Mike Fitzgerald told members that the tax increase would hurt businesses and force layoffs. "The last thing we do is raise prices. That just chases people off," he said.

The bill would have raised the tax on a bottle of beer from just over a penny to two cents.

Asked by lawmakers bow he would fix the budget problem, Fitzgerald said he worked as a butcher on his family's farm more most of his life. "I'm a strong proponent of cutting," he said as the room erupted in laughter.

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