23 March 2011

Now It's Trading One Booze Tax For Another UPDATED

So now, according to WBAL TV News, it appears that the Maryland legislature is looking to sacrifice their vaunted "dime-a-drink" (yeah, right) tax proposal, with a specific recipient for the revenues, in favor of the just-proposed incrementally-implemented percentage sales tax, which will pump revenue into the general state coffers:
Until now, efforts to increase Maryland's alcohol tax to pay for health care programs have focused on raising the excise tax at the wholesale level. But advocates of the dime-a-drink campaign said they view the compromise as a victory even though the revenue generated will not directly go to specific health care programs.
"We understand that the proposal will not earmark the way we proposed it. What we are hoping is that the administration and Legislature, in the supplemental budget, use the money for these health care needs," said Vinnie Demarco, the president of the Maryland Health Care Initiative.
*Snicker*............  chuckle.....................  BWAA-HAA-HAA-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..........

Sorry.  Those silly dreamer tear me up sometimes, you know?

Anyhow, more details:
The legislation increases the state alcohol tax rate from 6 percent to 7 percent for fiscal year 2012, from 7 percent to 8 percent for fiscal year 2013 and from 8 percent to 9 percent for fiscal year 2014 and beyond.
Sen. Edward Kasemeyer, the chairman of the Budget and Taxation Committee, said estimates show it would bring in $90 million after three years.
The state comptroller's office tracks gallons of alcohol sold that aren't individual units and said it will cost the state $187,200 to make computer programming changes to register the new sales and use tax rates. Retailers will also have to make programming adjustments and, according to an analysis of the bill, the tax increase may result in as much as an 8 percent decline in liquor sales and a 3 percent decline in beer and wine sales.
"However, you have to look at it both short- and long-term. What is going to be the long-term benefit and the fact that it is phased in -- that phase-in strategy is to mitigate any drastic changes," said bill sponsor Sen. Verna Jones-Rodwell, D-Baltimore.

More coverage to come.............. stay tuned........

UPDATE: Please notice that the Baltimore Sun, which extensively and repeatedly covered details of the so-called "dime-a-drink" tax proposal, has been all but completely mum on this latest alcohol tax proposal, burying the news in two blog posts and a single sentence in a story on the governor's budget proposals.  Now, novelty cigarette lighters, on the other hand, seem much more interesting at the moment to the Sun staf............  oh, look! A squirrel!!

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