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Proposal For Increase In Alcohol Tax Made By Health Care Coalition In MD

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By Garrett Browne

In Maryland the tax on wine and beer hasn't changed since the 1970s, but one coalition in the state is proposing an increase.

The resolution calls for a dime-a-drink increase in Maryland's alcohol taxes which have not been raised since 1972 for wine and beer and since 1955 for spirits.

Now a coalition of health care groups in the state is saying the time is now for a new tax increase on alcohol.

Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative, says a new hike would raise millions, and politicians should listen.

"We are going to make sure that this summer, that the candidates that are running for the general assembly, hear from those groups and we think many of them will endorse this proposal," DeMarco says.

An increase in the alcohol tax is nothing new to the Maryland General Assembly, but it has been shot down several times. However, DeMarco says his groups are going to use the same tactics that got a cigarette tax passed.

"This is the same process that worked, very successfully, four years ago that got us a $1 increase in the cigarette tax," he says.

Money raised from the tax increase will go towards health care programs in the state.

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