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Supporters Optimistic Md. Alcohol Tax Will Be Raised

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A liquor tax under consideration in Maryland is expected to raise $90 million for the state.
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A liquor tax under consideration in Maryland is expected to raise $90 million for the state.

Attempts to raise the state's alcohol tax, which has not been increased in more than 50 years, have been routinely voted down by lawmakers in Annapolis. But this year, it appears things could be different.

With the state facing a massive budget deficit, more and more legislators see raising the tax as a way to prevent cuts to healthcare and programs for the disabled.

Senate President Mike Miller says he expects a tax hike will be OK'd, but not at the rate of 10 cents. Sen. Richard Madaleno (D) of Montgomery County is the bill's sponsor.

"If that's all that we can do, then we'll cross that bridge when we get to it," Madaleno says.

He says he remains confident the full 10-cent increase can be approved.

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