|Thursday, March 24, 2011 – Robert Lang|
|For the first time in decades, a legislative committee has approved an increase in a state tax on alcohol.
The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee voted 9-4 to approve a bill introduced earlier this week that would increase the sales tax on beer, wine and liquor from 6% to 9% by July, 2013.
Under the bill, the sales tax rate would increase to 7% in July, and 8% in July, 2012.
Supporters say the tax increases would generate $90-million for the state.
Senator Verna Jones-Rodwell, the bill’s sponsor says the District of Columbia imposes a similar tax.
The proposal is an alternative to a larger increase in the excise tax on alcohol.
Backers of that proposal welcome the sales tax increase, but one of the advocates told WBAL News today that the sales tax rate should be higher for alcohol sold in bars and restaurants.
The District of Columbia imposes a 10% sales tax on alcohol sold in bars in restaurants.
The bill now goes to the full Senate which is expected to begin considering it Monday night.
Meanwhile. the House of Delegates and the Senate began floor debate today on legislation that would allow wineries to deliver cases of wine directly to consumers.
Lawmakers disagree over whether retailers should be given the same right.
Debate on the bill resumes tomorrow.
… Cheers! …