understand the risks

Discussion and plans for legalizing our hobby.

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ScottishBoy
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Re: understand the risks

Post by ScottishBoy » Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:49 pm

rad14701 wrote:
ScottishBoy wrote:In the US, the GOV gets 3 dollars for every gallon of 100 proof alcohol produced.
The issue is that very few people are going to jump into home distillation just to save $3.00 per gallon... The aggravation versus reward just isn't there... That goes for the entire process, more or less... Very few alcoholics are going to make their beverage of choice because they can't stay sober long enough to do so... They just don't have the patience... It's a novelty hobby more than anything - unless it's done for illegal profit...
We know what it costs, even on a shoestring budget, to get started... We also know the time investment... If the process was legalized you would see very few people jumping onboard simply because the practice went from illegal to legal...
What I imagine would be presented by some flapjack congressperson was that there was going to be a whole rash of people "Doing it like they used to. " Then they will bring up the stereotypes of the old years where radiators, lye, alcohol poisoning and jake leg were so popularized by the Sobriety Leagues of those days. We would have a serious uphill battle which was why I was thinking that a permit might make more sense. Possible even a liscense. I wouldnt mind answering a few questions for the right to distill.
As far as the danger aspect of the hobby, there are many other hobbies that are far more dangerous to both the participants as well as spectators... Drag racing... Stock car racing... Motocross... Free-style skiing, snowboarding, and motocross jumping... Turkey deep frying... Heck, even lawn care can be more dangerous if you don't pay attention... You'll always have more serious injuries from these other activities than you would ever have if home distillation were to be legalized... And you'll always have more people burning down their garages, barns, and homes, due to careless barbecuing, lawn mower repair, or car repairs, than you will with home distillation... It's not speculation, it's fact... The average human is going to take the easy way out... Why make booze when you can buy it... Why fix your home or car, or grow your own food, when you can pay someone to do it...
I agree 100%. But the intial allowance will probabaly cull a minor percentage of the gene pool as fools go out and try to do it. But the whole thing will be like dragons suddenly coming down and living with us. Sure they are friendly and sweet, and they will even mow your lawn for you, but they arent going to be able to escape the fact that people once told horrific tales of terror about them. Someone will burn a house down and the first ones they look at will be the dragons.

Odd comparison. Im sure I will find another.


When you weigh out the facts it just doesn't make for much of an argument against partaking in the hobby other than "because we say so"... Personally, I don't live by that idiom... Never been a yes man and never will be...
True. In a world of sheep, I would much rather be a goat.

SB
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Re: understand the risks

Post by Husker » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:02 pm

ScottishBoy wrote:In the US, the GOV gets 3 dollars for every gallon of 100 proof alcohol produced.
1 gallon of 100 proof is called a proof gallon. Fed taxes (US) are on proof gallon (as are many state taxes).

You might want to refresh your memory on this. The total tax the govt rapes at PRODUCTION time for 1 gallon of 100 proof is $13.50 (I also may be off, but if so, then it will be low, cause gooberment is not going to reduce this).

There are also state (and other local) taxes. Here in NE, I think the tax (on top of fed), is $3.75 (if Bohunk can correct me if he reads this, since he DOES run a legal distillery here in NE).

H.
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Re: understand the risks

Post by MuleKicker » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:13 pm

Lots of good points here. Ive always thought, what if there was a yearly permit one could buy. say $25-50? Not outrageous, but you'd have to buy 10-20gallons to pay an equal amount of tax. I think that would be a good deal for our gready gobermint, and $50? I would pay it, if nothing else, just to get out of the shadows. But Im sure them bastards have an excuse for that being a bad ideal also. By the way, what spurred goose to start this thread? Whos lobbying?
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Re: understand the risks

Post by goose eye » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:23 pm

mule how you gonna get somethin legalized without lobbyin. forwarned is forarmed

so im tole

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Re: understand the risks

Post by ScottishBoy » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:23 pm

Husker wrote:
ScottishBoy wrote:In the US, the GOV gets 3 dollars for every gallon of 100 proof alcohol produced.
1 gallon of 100 proof is called a proof gallon. Fed taxes (US) are on proof gallon (as are many state taxes).

You might want to refresh your memory on this. The total tax the govt rapes at PRODUCTION time for 1 gallon of 100 proof is $13.50 (I also may be off, but if so, then it will be low, cause gooberment is not going to reduce this).

There are also state (and other local) taxes. Here in NE, I think the tax (on top of fed), is $3.75 (if Bohunk can correct me if he reads this, since he DOES run a legal distillery here in NE).

H.
Husker is right. I was quoting the High ABV Wines tax which fall just a smidge over 3.00 per gallon. That covers the 21-25% range.
What I find hillarious is that our founding father, George Washington was a huge distiller. This is a quote from the website that represents Mount Vernon, his home:

George Washington was the only founding father to commercially operate a whiskey distillery, and its size and volume of production rank the building among the most important historic structures of its kind. The distillery was a very successful economic component of Mount Vernon. At its peak production period in 1799, five stills and a boiler produced 11,000 gallons of whiskey valued at $7,500.


Go George...just dont let anyone else do it. It was he himself who rode in front to help put down the whiskey rebellion. Seems kinda underhanded to me.
If Im wrong on this please correct me. My history is a little hazy.


as was Georges..apparently.
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Re: understand the risks

Post by Dnderhead » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:22 pm

That's not far off
fed tax is 13.50 proof gal
state tax vares 2.5- 13.$
there is also some "hidden" tax like wholesale tax that is 2% (some others depending on state)
so in the right state, that 6$ gallon of 50% alcohol whould be worth 30$ in tax then add sales tax on top.
start up cost about 50,000$ for artisan distillery
I have a acquaintance that makes "novelty" drinks , He gits 7$ a L, 6$ of that is overhead,, it sells in state run store for 14$
Have a good day

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Re: understand the risks

Post by rubber duck » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:01 pm

As it has been said before, Dunder you are a fountain of knowledge. You pretty much pegged it, taxes that the biggest part. The government might go for it if the figured they could make some revenue off it. Mule kicker might be right, I hate taxes but I would consider paying 100 bucks a year for a tax stamp to be legal. say 10 prof gallons per year per stamp.
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Re: understand the risks

Post by Dnderhead » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:49 pm

after looking at tax schedule I see wider variations as Vermont low of .68$ to a high of Washington 26.45 with Oregon a close second with 24.36

there is also a bill coming up to change to a "flat" tax of 41. dollars a liter of alcohol (I believe this will cover all state and fed tax) if past some will win and some will loose .this is to prevent border "jumping". small brewers of wine and beer will be hit the hardest as
beer and wine does not git tax as high as the hard stuff.
if that passes that bottle of 95% "neutral you have in the cupboard could be worth 40.$ in tax. the brewer/distiller is held reasonable for all tax
until collected.

I have a barrel sitting hear that holds about 10 gal. that is about 38L .at 60% that is 22.68 L of alcohol . so at 41$ tax I whould owe 929.88$ on that one.
if the new tax passes.

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Re: understand the risks

Post by rubber duck » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:10 am

Do use have the bill number? I would like to keep a eye on it.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck

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Re: understand the risks

Post by Dnderhead » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:40 am

no I don't. it is one of several to raise tax on alcohol. reasons are underage drinking,, to pay for rehab,,and border jumping .

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Re: understand the risks

Post by rubber duck » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:46 am

Cool it will give me something to do while I wait on my next load.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck

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Re: understand the risks

Post by wort » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:51 pm

Here in NZ, this is the break down for taxes on booze. All in NZD. 1NZD == 0.69 US c
Spirit drinks are taxed at $45.105 per litre of alcohol, while other beverages are charged $24.765 per l/al.

In practical terms, excise tax currently accounts for more than 76 per cent, or $19, of the retail price of a standard 1 litre bottle of spirits. Other taxes charged on spirits, including import tariffs, the ALAC (Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand) Levy and GST (Goods and Services), add a further $3 per bottle.
For me.. $20 a bottle is suitable motivation to brew my own :)
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Re: understand the risks

Post by ScottishBoy » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:47 am

Dnderhead wrote:,,, to pay for rehab,,and border jumping .
Cool! I have been looking to pick up a new sport! Sounds like they will pay if I hurt myself too... :econfused:
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Re: understand the risks

Post by Dnderhead » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:50 pm

The idea is that if all tax the same,there be no sense of going to the next ,,county/state to git bottle cheaper, no mater where you went it
whould be the same price. this eliminates competition?, this to me is like having fed. run business ,just they wont own it,just be in control.

Id like a deal like that,, you invest your money ,you do the work ,, ill tell you what to do and take the profits.

any takers?

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Re: understand the risks

Post by Bohunk » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:59 pm

Husker, You got it right. The feds get $13.50 per proof gallon, NE state taxs is $3.75 per proof gallon. Gets dammed expensive if you produce very much.

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Re: understand the risks

Post by blanikdog » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:29 pm

Agreed 100% rad and SB.

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Re: understand the risks

Post by ScottishBoy » Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:20 am

I have been thinking about this for a bit. I think it might be do-able, but not as a broad swath.

Obviously if you legalized the process itself then you would have all sorts of yahoos going out and poisoning themselves. Could be a "not pretty " sight.
But if you did it like a small business permit "to distill for recreational or culinary purposes with prohibited distribution", you could limit the amount of people who would do it and also provide a tax mechanism for the GOV to use. I see the taxes as being the big sticking point. Speaking just for the USA, we have basically funded the majority of our infrastructure with alcohol taxes. One of the reasons that prohibition was repealed was because they couldnt do without the taxes.
So we have to satisfy The tax aspect, make the process limited, and easily controllable. So I propose this:
1. A yearly state registration fee of 20 dollars. This little bit of paperwork will filter 80% of the idiots.
2. Declaring taxes on product produced not to exceed 25 gallons per year. Yeah I know, its a small number, but how much do we really need. We pay the exact same tax as the distilleries do.
3. Clearly defined distribution clauses which state that it cannot be sold or traded for monetary or compensatory value and that it cannot be transported across state lines.

Now the logic behind the move. This seems fairly restrictive and thats the point. What we need is a foot in the door. Even a toe would do. Once we get in, we can let it sit for a while as it cools down and becomes establ;ished practice. Once it is accepted, then we can move towards loosening up some of the strings.
They dont want to see a bunch of "Rebels who want to make their own hooch and damn the man!"

They would be much more receptive to "Some hobbiests who want to give the government their fair share and are willing to do a little extra work if it means they can pursue their hobby legally while making sure the states dont lose any tax revenue."

Im starting to think that with a gradual, coordinated long term plan...this could be done

SB
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Re: understand the risks

Post by Dnderhead » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:04 am

I thank you whould want some kind of basic training,,for safety, so some one whould not try to denature rubbing alcohol or use carboys for boilers.etc..
if there was a rash of poisonings or accidents/fires all whould be lost. something like hunters safety/or hand guns some states have. this whould not be hard
IF you could distill openly. similar to what gun clubs provide.

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Re: understand the risks

Post by rad14701 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:09 am

Let's take a step back and look at the whole scenario this way...

The "manufacture" or distilled spirits has never really contributed to the crime rate, aside from the mafia days back during prohibition... You aren't going to see gangs demanding "juice" or "insurance" so you can distill in your own home... And they aren't going to be breaking into our homes to steal our stash like they do with pot and more addictive drugs because those are generally part of an illegal enterprise where money is involved...

Taxing distilled spirits has never reduced the amount of alcohol-induced crime... People still tend to drink too much, and people are still committing crimes... Whether all of those crimes are directly related to the alcohol consumption or not is debatable... Tax is not a deterrent...

The general public is free to engage in many more dangerous activities than home distillation with little or no governmental involvement... We could come up with a long list of such activities, which may or may not include innocent bystanders, with very little effort...

So what it all boils down to is that the government has chosen what activities they control for tax purposes, whether we like it or not... What would happen if they started to tax aunt Betty for baking her award winning pies...??? Or taxing cousin Bob for his artisan craftsmanship bookshelves and picture frames that he gives away as gifts each Christmas...??? Or, better yet, what would happen if everyone had to claim a "Gift Tax" for their birthday and Christmas gifts...??? When do we say "When!"...??? We have to stand up and say we're tired of the status quo answer of "Well, that's just the way it is."...

Once you remove the bureaucratic greed form the mix there really is no reason why private individuals should not be allowed to practice home distillation freely, without threat of governmental persecution... Safety is actually a minor issue, from a governmental standpoint, yet is made out to be a major consideration... Sure, we may concentrate on safety here in these forums, for good reason, but you'd have the same amount of concerns if it was a pressure cooking forum or an electronics forum... And, as an example, you don't need to be licensed or inspected to use a pressure cooker or to dabble in electronics - yet both can be hazardous and/or deadly...


Alright, I'm starting to sound like a lobbyist now... And, "No", I'm not going be our lobbyist for reasons I'm not about to share here... It's complicated... Essentially, what we need to do is to chip away at the weaknesses in the excuses related to "why" we can't and prove that "because it's the law" doesn't hold much water... But I digress...

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Re: understand the risks

Post by Vodka_Master » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:37 pm

I have to agree with all that you guys said. Here in canada taxes on booze are big, it is said we are one of the countries with the biggest taxation on likor and tobaco. But even with that, i doupt legalizing home distillation will do much. Most people will still buy from stores rather than buy/build their own stills, fermenting equipment and then sit around distilling the stuff. Legalizing wouldnt make people sell more than now either. Selling without paying taxes would still be illegal, and if anyone would want to do that they would already be doing it now. Home distilling takes more patience and more work than brewing, so if brewing is legal but people still buy beer and wine from stores, i don't think people would all go get stills and distill liquor just to not pay taxes. Heck even if i distill i still buy booze from the store, and probably always will. There is always that argument that people will be making bad stuff and going blind, but thats just rubish. The only way that could happen is if some uninformed guy was there, opens the valve and pours some foreshots into a shotglass, and drinks that stuff. But that will probably never happen. Why? Well to get to that step of distillation, you just need your info, you will need to know how to ferment, what to use, ect. This isnt a hobby you can just go blindly into. Plus if this hobby was legal, there would be stores and communities of hobbyinsts around to help. There would be alot more books, more info all around, it wouldnt be hidden away because people would be scared of getting caught. If anything look at New Zealand who had home distilling legal for 10 years, spirit distilling companies didn't go bankrupt, and its not like people there are running around blind, drunk and have their houses on fire!

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Re: understand the risks

Post by Nies » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:58 am

So a few points of consideration. Home distilling is not unlike home brewing or home wine making. Two, in countries where home distillation already exists I think we could find that statistically consumption of commercial spirits goes up. This happened with home brewing in the US, so I think it is not a far cry to assume that a similar result could happen with distilling. So the tax issue is really mut. The government would stand to gain in that department. Three, has any one contacted the AHA about championing the cause. This organization has heavy support of both commercial and non commercial members that would be interested in seeing home distillation come to pass. That said, they will not go after it if people don't speak up. Three, have home distiller thought about creating a grass roots type organization to do the same. Congress, doesn't want to change laws for individuals, but organizations representative of the general population get their attention and make things happen. I know, there is some risk in that route, but this is the US, it is our right to seek changes in laws without fear of prosecution by the laws we want changed. Case in point, medicinal canibus. Distilled spirits are not nearly as controversial. Any way, that's my two cents.

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Re: understand the risks

Post by still crazy » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:59 am

rubber duck wrote:To bad Ted Kennedy passed on. We might have gotten some support.
Part of my useless information that will bring me no money files, is the fact that when Daddy Joe was ambassador to Ireland, he sealed up quite a few deals to the importation rights to Scotch and I think Gin. He did this knowing that prohibition was about to be repealed. Think Teddy would have helped us by taking his cut out of his own pocket.
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Re: understand the risks

Post by porter » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:49 pm

In the us tax is 13 per proof gallon, not 3.

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