Liquor industry tax increase long overdue

February 23, 2011

Pietro Di Pilato's essay on the "Dime a Drink" proposal to raise liquor taxes ("'Dime a drink' tax would cost thousands of jobs," Feb. 22), omits some crucial facts: If you are paying taxes at the tax rates of 40 or 50 years ago, you can only belong to one business in Maryland: the liquor industry. All other businesses, as well as individual taxpayers, have subsidized the liquor industry tax rates for decades. We have all paid more because they have paid so much less, and it probably runs into the billions of dollars. Far from admiring them, and the politicians who do their bidding, the rest of us should be furious. We should think about how much more we have paid because they pay so much less and think about what we have lost in funding for health care, the environment, education and transportation.

Powerful politicians in Maryland have allowed the tax rates on hard liquor to remain the same since 1955, and since 1972 for wine and beer, while everyone else has to live in the real world. We should all contact our state legislators and telling them that the liquor industry must pay its fair share. No one is going to drink less because a drink costs 10 cents more.

Laurie Taylor-Mitchell, Towson

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