Supporters Continue Push For Alcohol Tax

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The top elected officials in Maryland’s two largest counties voiced their support to boost the state’s alcohol tax on Wednesday, while a leading advocate for the legislation said the measure still doesn’t quite have the votes needed to pass.

Montgomery Count Executive Ike Leggett and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker appeared with religious leaders and state senators from Prince George’s and Baltimore city at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church near the Maryland State House to speak out in favor of legislation to direct proceeds to health initiatives and caring for the developmentally disabled.

Supporters say the legislation would increase the alcohol tax by a dime on each drink sold at restaurants and stores and raise about $215 million in revenue. The bill would increase the tax from $1.50 to $10.03 per gallon for distilled spirits, from 40 cents to $2.96 per gallon for wine and from 9 cents to $1.16 per gallon for beer.

Leggett, a Democrat who represents Maryland’s wealthiest county, said Montgomery County still has needs the legislation could help address.

“We can respond to that need not just in Montgomery, but throughout the entire state of Maryland, by passing this simple tax, one that is long, long overdue,” Leggett said.

Supporters face opposition from powerful lobbying interests. Critics say the proposed tax is high and would hurt restaurants and other businesses.

Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative, said 20 senators have said they will support the bill — four short of the number needed to pass the bill. He said 66 delegates support the measure, out of the 71 needed in the House of Delegates.

“We are really close,” DeMarco said.

Sens. Verna Jones-Rodwell and Lisa Gladden, Baltimore Democrats, also attended the event, along with Sen. C. Anthony Muse, D-Prince George’s.

“I think that the time is now,” Jones-Rodwell, a bill sponsor, said. “We cannot wait. There is a movement that we cannot let lose the momentum that’s needed.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. bernard F Mc Kernan says:

    Leave us drunks alone. tax, tax, tax. Next you’ll be putting a surtax on a tax. Dems & Repubs have one thing in common, there is not a creative mind in the whole lot. Tax & spend is the only thing they know. Cut gov’t spending, eliminate programs full of pork earmarks & go back to the spending budget of pre 2008.

  2. dave says:

    tax the alcohol if you can afford this luxury you can afford a extra quarter

  3. BETH ANN SWARTZ says:

    alochol tax makes more sense then gas tax

  4. terry burke says:

    tax beer and wine before rasing property taxes

  5. WILLIAM SEILER says:

    tax alcohol not everday staples ,,,some one out there is getting it

  6. THOMAS TERIFIGALO says:

    THIS SHOULDN’T EVEN BE A TOPIC FOR GOD SAKE I CAN THINK OF EVERY REASON TO TAX BEER AND WINE

  7. GERALD PUSKAR says:

    when you tax alcohol tax the adult enternimant taxes

  8. MIKE PREIT says:

    this will help keep crime down maybe the city should have this a long long time ago

  9. CHARLES says:

    LESS DRUNK DRIVERS I’AM ALL FOR THIS BRING THE BEER AND WINE TAX ON BABY

    1. josyse says:

      Honestly, your not very bright if you ready believe in what you are saying.

  10. MIKE says:

    tax beer and wine what a ideal, not tax payers , but beer and wine so they have one less drink

  11. MARK FIDATIA says:

    TAX IT TAX IT TAX IT IT ISN’T DONE YET,,,WHEN I SAY TAX IT DON’T HALF STEP IT TAX WERE YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE THE MONEY THE STATE NEEDS THIS TAX I AGREE WITH WITH MY HEART OF HEARTS

  12. kevin ball says:

    tax on beer and wine like the previous people bloged go right ahead , just leave my property taxes alone

  13. bernard F Mc Kernan says:

    Unfortunately all you idiots, there is not enough revenue generated to help offset the deficit. So, property taxes, gas taxes will go up anyway.

  14. Dave McCall says:

    When is the government going to start taxing us for the air that we breath??

    Cut spending enough is enough..

  15. Mike says:

    When are the commies in Annapolis going to tax you when you use the bathroom too. Typical Tax and Spend Thieving Politicians.

  16. JPB says:

    How about taxing the stupidity in Annapolis, that should about negate the deficit…

  17. Brian Grace says:

    Lets Tax churches. That would cut the defecit overnight. It would also cut down on stupidity.

  18. Ernie says:

    AMEN to that!!! Taxing alcohol will do nothing to reduce crime, drinking and driving or alcoholism.

    Here’s an idea. . . let’s ban alcohol altogether. That will reduce crime and drinking right? Worked during Prohibition didn’t it?

    How about a 10 cent tax on each text message you send. . . 20 cents if you do it while you’re driving.

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