New Mixed Drink Law - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

New Mixed Drink Law

The new mixed beverage tax could change the way you're charged for cocktails.

Parkway Grill Owner Scott Plowman said the only thing new about this law is that it is transparent to the customer.

"We had this gross receipts tax all these years I've been in here and it was a hidden tax," said Plowman,"people didn't know they were paying tax on the beer they were buying or the mixed drink. This is at liquor license establishments. At the same time people who had the beer and wine license could always put on the tax and show it, but we couldn't. Now starting today the restaurant bars can break up the tax and show it so people of Texas know they are still paying a tax. It's not a hidden tax, were still paying a tax in part."

Before the new law, the owner would pay a 14 percent tax on all mixed beverage sales. Today, the customer will see an 8.25 percent tax show up on their receipt, the owner will then pay a 6.7 percent tax. This means that the state of Texas, not the owner, is going to be pulling in an additional .95 percent in mixed drink sales.

Even though restaurants have the option to add the tax onto current mixed drink prices, Plowman said he's going to make his mixed drink prices tax neutral.

"I have not raised my prices knowing this was coming for a long time," said Plowman, "Like I said I've been here a long time, it's just something that I never liked. People paying it didn't know they were paying it, and they always thought I was taking the money. I write big checks to the state of Texas for liquor, beer and wine which is fine. And that's great we can pay our taxes I just want people to know that they were paying it. That's why were gonna break it out and show it. We're in business were gonna do the right prices I'm not gonna price myself out of the market. This is just so people can see the tax. It's important, I wanna know I'm paying taxes when I'm paying taxes. That's why were excited in the restaurant bar industry. We're still paying around seven percent on the back tax."

Justin Kittrell has been mixing drinks for over a year now.  Kittrell does not believe that this new tax law will have any effect on sales.

"Honestly, I think it's always been there, I guess now were able to advertise it. It shouldn't mess with our business at all, in any way."

Parkway Grill customer, Carl Wilcox said seeing the tax on his receipt in print won't change anything for the consumer.

"Whether you're willing to pay that tax to keep drinking or not," said Wilcox,"same with cigarettes. I guess if your willing to keep drinking I guess your not gonna be too worried about the tax or not."

Plowman said the transparency the new law brings is nothing but a good thing.

"People will see they're paying a tax," said Plowman,"and that's good."

Jack Carney, Newschannel 6

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