Raise the liquor tax

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, August 05, 2004

I believe the city is doing the right thing by raising the tax on alcohol. When you consider that probably more than 50 percent of police calls are alcohol-related, our jails are filled with people who committed crimes while intoxicated, and our child-protection system is filled with children from alcoholic families. After working in the social work field for four years I have seen that alcohol destroys families and ruins lives.

I don't have a lot of sympathy for the bar owners. Most bars in town are owned by people that are very wealthy. At most bars that I have been to, people are served past the point of visible intoxication. One has only to look in the paper every day to see driving under the influence, domestic violence, and child abuse. In families where the latter of these two are, alcohol is most often involved. The cost to police of negative actions in society is just the tip of the iceberg as to what alcoholism costs the community.

So go ahead and charge a couple of more cents. It may mean paying $3.50 instead of $3 for a beer or $5 instead of $4.50. So at the end of the night after four to five drinks the average patron could be out $2, after spending $20. Who cares? It is not much to pay considering the damage that drinking does. How many local bar or liquor store owners give some of their profits to charity, to offset the damage that their product causes? This is what I would like to hear about.

Erik Stimpfle

Juneau



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