- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Maryland General Assembly would be wrong to raise taxes on alcohol (“Md. alcohol tax may quadruple,” Saturday e-edition). Increasing alcohol taxes costs jobs and disproportionately hurts those who are least able to pay them.

According to the Tax Foundation, people earning less than $20,000 per year, for example, face federal alcohol tax burdens that take a much higher proportion of their income than do those making, perhaps, more than $200,000. Not only are hospitality taxes on wine, beer and spirits regressive, they also contribute to job loss: After the federal government doubled the beer tax in 1991, approximately 60,000 Americans in the brewing, distributing and retailing industries lost their jobs from a shrunken industry.

Too often, hospitality taxes are treated like an ATM to generate extra revenue to make up for wasteful government spending. As Americans struggle in tough economic conditions, Maryland could not pick a worse time to increase taxes.

SARAH LONGWELL

Managing director



American Beverage Institute

Washington

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