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ND Senate: Wine budget can afford Champagne taste

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- North Dakota senators want to make it possible to quench a Champagne thirst on a wine budget, at least where the taxes are concerned.

North Dakota's tax on sparkling wines is double the levy that's imposed on regular still wine. On Tuesday, the Senate voted 43-0 to get rid of the difference.

Under the terms of the legislation, which now goes to the state House for its review, both wine and sparkling wine would be taxed at 13.2 cents per liter. Sparkling wine now carries a state tax of 26.4 cents per liter.

North Dakota's Tax Department estimates the change will result in a $40,000 decrease in tax collections over two years.

Sen. Connie Triplett, D-Grand Forks, said the differential has been in effect since the early 1930s.

Supporters of equalizing the tax rate between the two types of wine speculated that sparkling wine has been taxed at a higher rate because it "may have been considered a drink for the elites," Triplett said.


The bill is SB2416.