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Press Release

Uncle Sam Enjoys Green on St. Patrick’s Day too!

Maya Lindsay, NYSSCPA Public Relations
Published Date:
Mar 17, 2015

NEW YORK - (March 12, 2015) - Most people could probably guess that St. Patrick’s Day is the second biggest drinking day for Americans right behind New Year’s Eve.

What many people don’t know realize is while millions of green beer pints are being chugged on March 17, Uncle Sam – and his state and local cousins – are collecting millions of excise tax dollars for their coffers as well.

In fact, the Beer Institute estimates some $49 billion was contributed in business, personal and consumption taxes, according to its latest figures. And while they’re not exactly sure how much on that came on St. Patrick’s Day, some consumer reports says that the average year’s  worldwide consumption usually tops 4.2 billion pints.

The percentage of the tax – on beer, cider, wine or liquor - varies by state with Tennessee being the highest, adding $1.29 per gallon; and Wyoming being the lowest, adding $.02 per gallon. The state of New York charges $.14 per gallon (and if your drinking in New York City add another $.12 tax per pint to that amount), according to figures from the Federation of Tax Administrators.

“Many states are aware of their alcohol taxes and many know that raising these, like other sin taxes like those on cigarettes, is a way to help balance their budgets,” said Tom Walpole, a Rochester member of the New York State Society of CPAs and a owner of his own firm there.   

“New York tends to be known as a high tax state but ranks really low when it comes to their state taxes on beer.” Walpole stated. “While New York doesn’t collect as much per gallon as Tennessee, I’m sure there are more people looking for a nice cold beverage in Albany than there are in Nashville. New York gets less per serving, but makes up for it in quantity.”

To interview Tom Walpole or another NYSSCPA member about St. Patrick’s Day beer taxes or for more information, contact Maya Lindsay at or (212) 719-8350.


Incorporated in 1897 and now representing more than 28,000 CPAs, the NYSSCPA is a not-for-profit organization that represents the issues, standards and public services efforts of certified public accountants who practice in New York State; encompassing all areas of public practice, government, education, business, and industry. Visit the Society’s website at for more information.