Md. lawmaker clarifies comment on alcohol tax

AP News
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Posted: Dec 18, 2009 3:01 PM

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller says he "never in my wildest imagination" envisioned an alcohol tax increase for drinks in restaurants in Maryland this legislative session.

Miller, who opposes the increase, brought the subject up on Friday while talking about the state's budget problems.

He had mentioned during a Wednesday interview on Maryland Public Television that there is a possibility a tax hike on alcohol might have enough support in the Senate. Miller said it would only raise about $20 million, not much considering the state's $2 billion deficit.

But an editorial in The Baltimore Sun cited an Abell Foundation report that estimated a 10-cent-per-drink increase would raise about $214.4 million.

Miller says an "onerous tax" on restaurants and patrons would be a disservice during tough economic times when restaurants are going out of business.