Lawmakers Say No To Higher Alcohol Taxes

California — State lawmakers have a rejected the idea of raising fees on alcoholic beverages to help mitigate some of the effects of alcohol abuse. It’s the second time in a year the proposal has died in the California Assembly Committee on Health.

The assembly bill would have raised fees about 10 cents a drink. It would have generated an estimated $1.4 billion a year. Supporters say the money would have helped pay for some of the public health and criminal justice costs of alcohol abuse in California.

Jim Gogek is with the San Diego County Alcohol Policy Panel. He says polls show support for higher alcohol taxes.

“But the alcohol lobby is stronger in Sacramento than public opinion, and so the alcohol lobby has always been able to kill alcohol taxes,” Gogek says.

The alcohol industry argued higher taxes would have cost thousands of jobs.

Alcohol taxes haven’t been raised in California since 1992.

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