One Cheer for Moshe Kachlon – Lower Alcohol Taxes!

I’ve written a lot about Kachlon in the past and how much I can’t stand the guy. Notwithstanding all the damage he’s done already in raising all kinds of housing taxes, he actually did something good today and lowered alcohol taxes from 4.33 shekels per liter of beer to 2.33. He also lowered taxes on hard liquor from 106.9 shekels per liter of ethanol to 85 per liter.

This was the status quo ante 2012, when Yair Pretty Boy Lapid came into office, who I should mention is publicly know to have once been, and may still be, a raging alcoholic. Pretty Boy Lapid, seeing the light and crusading against alcoholism by making everyone who buys alcohol pay him more money, had the goal of lowering the consumption rate of alcohol in Israel.

And by some kind of miracle called markets and supply and demand (miracle to Lapid anyway), it didn’t work. Why not? Because it’s not that hard to brew your own alcohol. You can do it yourself with some grape juice, some yeast, and a Water distiller.

I used to buy Arak from time to time. I haven’t bought a single bottle since 2012. They will not get extra tax revenue from me. I can theoretically make my own Arak now with anise extract and all the above materials.

The politicians just figured this out, the idiots:

הצוות התייחס גם למיסוי המוטל על משקאות משכרים (כגון וודקה, וויסקי, עראק, ג’ין וכו’). מנכ”ל האוצר מסר לשר כי בחינת העלאת המס בשנים 2014-2015 הצביעה כי למרות התכנון המקורי, הרי שהעלאת מס הקנייה כלל לא הביאה לתוספת הכנסות במונחים ריאליים.

בהתאם להמלצות הצוות, נדרש שינוי מבני מיידי גם בשל ההתפתחויות השליליות בענף האלכוהול – התפתחות של תעשייה פיראטית שמייצרת משקאות מזיקים לבריאות, פגיעה בציבור העוסקים הישרים שנאלצים להתמודד עם שוק שחור בהיקפים לא מבוטלים ופגיעה בציבור הצרכנים בשל העלאת המס.

The committee also changed the tax level on hard drinks like vodka, whisky, arak and gin. The director of the finance department told Kachlon that the 2014-2015 tax raise showed that despite original planning (sic), raising the sales tax did not bring in additional tax revenue.

In keeping with the recommendations of the committee, an immediate change is needed due to the negative developments in the alcohol sector – the development of pirate manufacturing that can harm health, hurt the alcohol industry that needs to compete with a substantial black market, and hurting consumers who need to pay the higher tax.

And as an additional testament to the BS you often find in mainstream state-controlled media, here are two paragraphs. The second from the article about lowering the tax, and the first from an article when Lapid raised it.

מלשכת השר שטייניץ אמרו בתגובה לדברי לפיד על המס על האלכוהול: “בהמשך לדברי שר האוצר לפיד בנוגע להעלאת המס על האלכוהול האחרונה, אמר השר שטייניץ כי מעולם לא קיבל החלטה ולא התחייב לקבל החלטה לעלות את שיעור המס. במסגרת התהליך המבורך של קבלת ישראל ל-OECD הוסכם על שינוי שיטת המס החל משנת 2014, בהתאם למודל הנהוג במדינות הארגון. אולם, ההחלטה עצמה על גובה שיעור המס נותרה לשיקול דעתו של שר האוצר בלבד.

(Short translation: The rise in alcohol taxes is due to a deal with the OECD, which just accepted us yay, so we’re doing this as a favor to them, because they said so and we made a deal. And by the way, the actual level of the tax is only up to the Finance Minister, Pretty Boy Lapid, raising a big question about what the heck the first sentences of this paragraph about the OECD even means.)

And now for the article that just came out about lowering it back down:

רמת מיסוי הנהוגה כיום גבוהה משמעותית מזו הנהוגה במדינות ה-OECD. בחינת התוצאות של העלאת המס על בירה בשנים 2013-2015 הראתה כי למרות ההכפלה של המיסוי, הדבר כמעט ולא השפיע על היקפי הצריכה של בירה. המשמעות כי המס שהוטל בשנת 2012 הכביד על ציבור הצרכנים מבלי תרם באופן ממשי לעניין צמצום השתייה המזיקה.

Short translation: Taxes were lowered back down because they were much higher than the level accepted by the OECD. And tax revenue wasn’t increasing so there was no point.

You have to laugh at this. I hope Lapid falls off the wagon and goes binge drinking tonight. Maybe he’ll come down with the DT’s and have a near death experience, be saved in the emergency room and then retire. (I’m joking, I don’t wish him the DT’s.) I’ll fund his alcohol budget personally if he would just go away and stop passing any laws. I wish him well, and to leave me alone. As they say in Hebrew, תהיה בריא.

One cheer for Kachlon. Just one.

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2 thoughts on “One Cheer for Moshe Kachlon – Lower Alcohol Taxes!

    • Yes I believe this is so. Since it’s hard liquor, is not wine or beer. People can get together and talk about the revolution while drinking wine and beer, gossip everyone, maybe even do a brain storming and plan something but if they drink vodka and gin [unless they’re Russian and then it’s in their blood stream and has no effect] they will be floored and destroyed, at least in the morning.

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