Permit me to respond to the article about the proposed Health Equity Resource Communities initiative, "Bill could lead to higher alcohol taxes on businesses, Feb. 1.

I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Asian American Center of Frederick, a local not-for-profit organization which addresses health equity issues in Western Maryland. AACF's initiatives include direct outreach and education, such as an ongoing program which trains community health workers to serve our population.

Public health advocates believe that this meager 1 percent increase in Maryland's alcohol tax would be highly influential in funding increased benefits to those on the receiving end of health services, while imposing minimal impact upon the liquor-buying public. (If anything, the tax increase on alcoholic beverages might play a modest role in reducing excessive drinking.)

Despite claims that this proposal is regressive, the benefits from the greater tax can clearly be described as progressive, because they provide support to communities what have suffered from disinvestment.

A penny per dollar represents a negligible tax increase on a non-essential item. Yet the aggregate proceeds can go a long way in directing assistance to communities what have been hard-hit by the pandemic.

(7) comments

NMresident

The problem with the one percent increase in the alcohol tax is that it will probably go into the general fund just as the last one did. The Legislature always says the right things to get the interest groups behind their plan, but unless the monies are walled off from manipulation they are moved to the general fund or some other area in "most immediate need." Then they are back at the trough for more.

Guy T. Ashton

It’s not an issue of a penny here, a penny there all for a good cause. The problem is they keep taxing the smokers and drinkers almost exclusively. Drinkers are gonna drink, and if you don’t drink you don’t care. If it’s such a great idea then I’m sure EVERYBODY will be glad to pitch in a penny. So we should tax toilet paper.

micky

Here's my paycheck, just send back what you don't need!! This how it feels every time someone has a project they want funded. Just keep taxing us to death, eventually there will be none left to take. Remember, it's only a penny!!

bosco

Let me tell you how it will be

There's one for you, nineteen for me

'Cause I'm the taxman

Yeah, I'm the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small?

Be thankful I don't take it all

'Cause I'm the taxman

Yeah, I'm the taxman

(If you drive a car, car)

I'll tax the street

(If you try to sit, sit)

I'll tax your seat

(If you get too cold, cold)

I'll tax the heat

(If you take a walk, walk)

I'll tax your feet

Taxman!

olefool

“A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money." - Everett Dirksen

threecents

If a 1% increase in the MD alcohol tax is going to hurt you, then you just might have an alcohol problem.

public-redux

I have mixed drinks about your thoughts.

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