State To Challenge "Alcopops" Ruling
LINCOLN (AP) - The state of Nebraska will be appealing a judge's ruling that so-called "alcopops" should be considered hard liquor rather than beer. The Attorney General's Office filed notice that it will appeal the Feb. 14 ruling by Judge John Colborn. The difference between the beer and hard liquor tax rates is more than $3 a gallon, so the price of beverages such as Mike's Hard Lemonade and Smirnoff Ice would likely increase if the ruling were to stand. The brewed malt beverages are flavored with distilled spirits. Colborn ruled that state law dictates that a drink containing any distilled alcohol should be taxed as hard liquor. The alcopops had been classified as beer by the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission.