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Higher drink prices may come January 1st

After the New Years Eve midnight revelries and celebrations, customers will soon notice the effects of the mixed drink tax. Read more here
After the New Years Eve midnight revelries and celebrations, customers will soon notice the effects of the mixed drink tax.

Previously, mixed drinks served in restaurants were taxed more than restaurants which only served beer or wine. However, clients did not necessarily know of the tax because it was not on their receipts.

"Well, it just was the way it was set up in 1972. At that time, it was a 10% hidden tax. The legislature passed a bill to make it more transparent," explained Texas Restaurant Association CEO, Richie Jackson.

Starting January 1, 2014, San Angelo restaurants will either maintain the price of drinks and pay the tax or the price of the customer's drink will be raised and the customers will pay the tax. Either way, customers will start to see the tax on the receipts.

If Concho's Downtown decides to have the customer pay the tax, bartender Taylor Chambless is hoping people will tip more.

"Hopefully, it'll increase the amount of each ticket which increases tips which will be better for bartenders and waitresses... but, not so much for the customers," said Chambless.

San Angelo Restaurant Association President Berney Sheffield made it clear the change in tax is happening no matter what.

"They're going to be taxed on the IRS gratuity. All of us are going to get taxed more," stated Sheffield.

The tax on the mixed drinks originally was 14%. With the new law, restaurants can choose to decrease it to 8.25%. However, if they do so, the customers will be the one footing the bill.

The change will begin the first of the year.
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