Today Governor Martin O'Malley signs into law the first tax increase on alcohol in more than 10 years. While we opposed the increase we appreciate that the elected officials in Maryland were clever enough to raise the taxes from 6 to 9 percent. According to reports, the increase will generate approximately $85 million in revenue for the state.
The self-proclaimed watchdog of the alcohol industry, the Marin Institute, calls this a defeat for big alcohol and a victory for public health policy. According to PR Newswire, Vincent DeMarco of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative said "The new alcohol sales tax increase will save lives by reducing underage drinking and over-consumption while also providing much-needed revenue to fund critical health care and community services in our state."
Sure, and Maryland Lottery funds really do benefit the Maryland public schools.
Don't worry Marylanders we don't just report problems we also present solutions. Purchase your alcohol in another state (or constitutionally-chartered special district). Our geospacial mapping staff tells us the majority of Maryland residents live within shouting distance of Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, DC Pennsylvania, and even Delaware. Sorry Baltimore, you're probably screwed - it's a bit of a hike for you in every direction but you can come to DC grab some beer and catch a Nationals game (aside from the uniform colors and stadium design you will never know it's not the O's).