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Lawmakers will hold a public hearing on raising the state's beer tax

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For the first time in three decades, Wisconsin lawmakers will hold a public hearing on raising the state's beer tax.

The Assembly's Public Safety Committee will hear comments Tuesday.

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The beer tax has been $2 a barrel since 1969.

A bill from Terese Berceau, D-Madison, would raise it to $10 a barrel and it would raise the cost of a bottle of beer by almost 2.5 cents.

It would raise $58 million a year for alcohol treatment and prevention programs, and related law enforcement grants.

The beer tax has long been one of the Capitol's biggest sacred cows.

Gov. Jim Doyle is still against raising it and the state's Tavern League and a coalition of brewers has also come out against it.

Wisconsin's beer tax is the third-lowest in the nation.

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