Alcohol

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime to Pay the Tax on My Beer in MD?

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10 cents gets you a whole beer in 1911

Just as Virginia is starting to loosen its death grip on liquor sold in the commonwealth, the Maryland legislature is considering a 10 cent tax on every drink sold in the state.

That's $2.40 on a case a beer. Of course, the tax will hit buyers of terrible cheap beer hardest, since the same 10 cents will get tacked on to a crappy can of PBR or a fancy bottle of Chimay Belgian Ale. Maryland is facing a $2 billion shortfall, and hopes to snag about $200 million with the tax.

The legislature—which failed to pass a 5-cent alcohol tax last year—is following the time honored principle of legislatures everywhere: If at first you don't succeed, tax, tax again. It is, however, an election year so tax increases may face a tough fight.

(Baseball historical counter-factual to ponder: What if this tax had come to Cleveland in 1974? Ten Cent Beer Night might never had come to pass.)

Come on over to Virginia when you get thirsty, Marylanders. We're happy to have you.

Via Jacob Grier.