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Advocates Push For Dime-A-Drink Tax In Maryland

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Health care advocates in Maryland will again push to raise the state's alcohol tax during the upcoming legislative session.

Attempts to raise the tax 10 cents for every drink served have routinely failed, with the measure failing to get out of committee last year. Supporters this year are banking on what they say is overwhelming public support to raise the tax. Steve Raabe is president of OpinionWorks, which did a statewide poll on the proposed increase with over 600 voters.

"Two-thirds of the electorate, 66 percent, favors this 10 cents per drink tax. If the revenue is dedicated to health-related priorities, such as alcohol and drug treatment and prevention, [and] health care for the uninsured," Raabe says.

But tax increases during this year's legislative session seem unlikely, as Gov. Martin O'Malley has said he will try to fill in the more $1 billion budget deficit facing the state by only cutting spending.

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