The fine people at Heavy Seas recently sent around an E-mail on new legislation being offered in the Maryland legislature to increase taxes on alcohol beverages. Beer In Baltimore touched on this issue as well. HB 121, the Lorraine Sheehan Health and Community Services Act of 2011, increases the state tax rates for alcoholic beverages sold in Maryland from $1.50 to $10.03 per gallon for distilled spirits, from 40 cents to $2.96 per gallon for wine, and from 9 cents to $1.16 per gallon for beer. The House bill has more than 50 sponsors and the Senate counterpart (SB 168) has almost 20 sponsors. The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee held a hearing on the bill today and the House Ways and Means Committee on March 3, 2011.
State budgets are hurting across the country (we're looking at you Wisconsin) and commodity prices are going through the roof, which means prices for food - and beer - are going up too. We understand beer is a bit of a luxury item for some and it's not quite the same as putting food on the table. Maybe more people could afford a little luxury, or even a little tax increase, if wages had increased at all since the 1980s. With the current state of the economy employers have good excuse not to increase wages. What this means is no pay raise this year but the grocery bill is going up and that little six pack of heaven is about to get taxed like a cigarette.
Anyway, we're not saying you should oppose this bill but if you live in Maryland you should oppose HB 121/SB 168. You can voice your opposition at http://www.savemymdjob.com/.
If you live in Wisconsin, we're not saying you should support the unions but you should support the right to collective bargaining.