Written by Dave Benfield
February 20th, 2010
I really never intended to bring politics into this blog, but today I feel it must be done. The state of Maryland legislature is considering a bill (linked here), called The Lorraine Sheehan Health and Community Services Act of 2010. This bill proposes MASSIVE increases in the state’s alchohol tax. First, increasing any tax in these difficult economic times makes no sense. But, even more amazing is how the purpose of the bill is hidden by the title. The bill proposes to increase the tax on beer from the current 9 cents a gallon tax to $1.16 a gallon tax, a whopping 12 fold increase! The tax is applied at the level of the brewery or importer into the state. This is important because this is before the distributor and retailer markups are applied to the product, making the increase even worse.
Basically any (or at least any micro-brew) six pack price will jump from whatever it’s current price in your favorite liquor store to over a $1.10 more. So if your six pack costs $7.99, after this tax it will cost $ 9.19!!! Just as a side note, a 750ml bottle of wine will jump around $1.05 and a liter bottle of vodka will go up over $4 a bottle. A pint of beer at your favorite restaurant, will go up $.60 to $.70 a glass, and possibly more. And remember, this is all before the sales tax (which they increase 20% already).
I urge you to contact your local representative and tell them to not vote for this bill. And please pass this on to anyone you know, we need all the support we can muster to stop this.
Again, I hate making this political, but the damage this bill would do to the craft brewing industry in Maryland would be beyond repair, not to mention our wallets as every alcohol we consume would cost tremendously more. Here a link to a facebook group page you are welcome to join.