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January 15th, 2010 11:39 am
Taxing Booze Won’t Help Your Competence
Posted by Print

Maryland lawmakers are in trouble.  They’ve spent too much money over the past decade; with the economic recession, they now have a $2 billion deficit.

Cutting spending would seem to be the logical way to reduce the deficit but since Maryland already has the fourth highest state/local tax burden in the nation, state politicians are now proposing another tax hike in an attempt to get to number one.  Someone’s got to stick it to New Jersey.

This time Annapolis is out to get the partygoers in Fells Point and Bethesda with a new 10 cents-per-drink tax on alcohol.  In total, the booze tax is expected to raise $200 million, though this is still just a fraction of the sum needed to fill the state’s budget gap.

Bars and liquor stores have an obvious motivation to oppose the new legislation but ole Joe Sixpack should shudder as well.  The tax would total about 55 cents for a bottle of wine and 75 cents on a handle of liquor.

Perhaps the crowds at Fells Point and Bethesda will finish their drinks and then let Annapolis know that the booze tax is a horrible idea that won’t fill the state’s budget gap.  It will, however, upset a lot of drinkers. That’s never promising.

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