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California Proposition 126, Alcohol Tax Increase (1990)

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California Proposition 126, also known as the Alcohol Abuse and Drug Education Act of 1990, was on the November 6, 1990 ballot in California as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated.

Proposition 126 would have added excise taxes on alcohol to the California Constitution. It would have raised the tax on beer from 4 to 20 cents per gallon, on some wines from 1 to 20 cents per gallon, on fortified wines from 2 to 20 cents per gallon and on distilled spirits from $2.00 to $3.30 per gallon.

Proposition 126 conflicted in part with California Proposition 134 (1990) and California Proposition 136 (1990); it was written so that its provisions would take precedence over theirs, if all of them were approved.

Election results

Proposition 126
Defeatedd No4,332,82759.08%
Yes 3,001,351 40.92%

Ballot summary

The ballot summary said,

"Adds to Constitution, alcohol beverage excise tax rates, proceeds payable to General Fund.
  • Increases taxes payable to State General Fund on alcoholic beverages, as of March 1, 1991 -- beer, from 4 to 20 cents per gallon; specified wines from 1 to 20 cents per gallon; fortified wines from 2 to 20 cents per gallon; distilled spirits from $2.00 to $3.30 per gallon.
  • Amends Constitution to exclude excise surtaxes imposed by this measure from appropriations limit, as specified.
  • Provides that tax rate modifications of this measure control over conflicting provisions of Propositions 134 and 136."

Constitutional changes

Fiscal impact

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

This measure would result in additional General Fund revenues of approximately $70 million for a portion of 1990-91 and approximately $195 million in fiscal year 1991-92, the first full year it is in effect.
  • Similarly, local sales tax revenues would increase statewide by approximately $1.6 million annually.
  • Revenues generated after fiscal year 1991-92 will depend upon the trends in alcohol sales.
  • Adjustments are also made to the state's constitutional spending limit to include the additional tax revenue.

Path to the ballot

The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 126 on the ballot via Assembly Constitutional Amendment 38 (Statutes of 1990, Resolution Chapter 56).

External links