Liquor industry has little to whine about

March 26, 2011

Why is the alcohol industry complaining about the possible tax increase on their industry? It seems that they've gotten a free ride for decades.

Why is it that while everyone's taxes have been rising over the past 55 years, the liquor industry is still paying taxes as though it were 1955? Similarly, with beer and wine, there has been no tax increase on those products over the past 39 years; they've been paying the same taxes as though it were still 1972. Wouldn't it be great if all of the citizens in Maryland had the same type of free pass?

We keep hearing that the 10-cent-per-drink tax would cause large layoffs of alcohol industry employees. But just think, if the alcohol tax had been increased by only one penny per drink each year since it were last raised, they would now be paying an average increase of about 45 cents per drink today. When you look at it that way, just raising the alcohol tax by 10 cents per drink is a real bargain for the alcohol industry.

Come on, legislators, during these times of economic difficulty when more money is needed for multiple areas such as teachers, public safety, health care, services for the disabled, libraries, transportation projects, etc., support your citizens on this issue — this one time. Then, maybe another 40-to-55 years can pass again before another tax increase is proposed for the alcohol industry.

Tom Milligan, Brooklyn Park

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