California, New York Are Low-Tax Havens for Champagne Mavens

Top tax rates on sparkling wine are in Florida and Alaska.

New York revelers will pay a relatively low state sin tax for their favorite bubbly beverage.
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Don't listen to Rush Limbaugh, Democrat-dominated California and New York actually have low tax rates – or at least they do for Champagne.

Empire State stock traders pay just $.30 a gallon in excise taxes on their sparkling wine, the same rate charged to tech executives and movie stars in the Golden State, according to a fact sheet from the Wine Institute, which tracks and lobbies on wine policy issues.

Wisconsin and Wyoming residents pay a few cents less per gallon.

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Floridians planning to pop a cork in the first moments of 2014 Wednesday will pay the highest sparkling wine excise tax, at $3.50 a gallon, followed by Alaskans, who can thank their legislators for raising the rate to $2.50 a gallon in 2002.

Massachusetts – nicknamed "Taxachusetts" by small-government fans – charges a lower rate than any state in the Deep South, at $.70 a gallon.

A gallon of liquid fills approximately five 750ml bottles.

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In Utah, there's no per-gallon excise tax rate and residents instead pay a 65 percent mark-up that goes into state coffers. New Hampshire and Pennsylvania also charge a mark-up, rather than a per-gallon tax.

Standard sales taxes apply to the bubbly beverage in most states. The majority of states do not have a separate sparkling wine tax – so Champagne is taxed at the same rate as wine.

The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax research group, mapped the varying tax rates. Check out their map to find out how much you will pay before the ball drops:

(Courtesy of the Tax Foundation)

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