Alcohol Taxes Encourage More Spending

Published March 26, 2009

Once again, the Maryland General Assembly is considering tax policy that would hurt businesses, take more money out of taxpayers’ pockets and throw still more money into the state’s seemingly bottomless pit (“Md. alcohol tax may quadruple,” Saturday e-edition).

The proposed 300 percent tax increase on alcohol has little to do with helping the disabled or addicted. It is merely a way for the legislature to tap yet another revenue source in order to increase spending and expand the burden on taxpayers. If the legislature truly thinks these programs are worthwhile, the state could have been funding them all along. In the past, however, they have chosen not to do so. Increasing alcohol taxes will further increase the cost of government. Legislators should instead be prioritizing and cutting their expenditures.

This letter to the editor was originally published in The Washington Times.

Legislative specialist, budget and tax policy
The Heartland Institute
Chicago, IL