On Wednesday afternoon, the Committee Against Repeal of Alcohol Tax held the kick-off for its “Vote No on 1” campaign against the repeal of the alcohol tax outside the Massachusetts State House. Passionate speeches and a high energy level highlighted the importance of denying the alcohol industry a sales tax exemption. A question to repeal the alcohol sales tax will be on the State’s ballot on November 2nd.
Senator Tolman, Representative O’Day and Representative Malia and other advocates for the campaign spoke on reasons the alcohol tax is critical to both the financial and public health of the Commonwealth. As the state faces a large budget deficit this year, Massachusetts cannot afford to grant alcohol a special exemption. Alcohol is not a necessity and its sales have only increased since the tax was imposed in 2009, making an alcohol tax cut unnecessary and fiscally detrimental.
The money collected from the tax directly funds substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, helping more than 100,000 people across the state. These programs save lives and keep families together, as several speakers illustrated through emotional personal anecdotes.
Finally, the alcohol tax has been shown by numerous studies to reduce underage drinking. The younger someone is when they first encounter alcohol, the greater the risk of alcoholism later in life. Repealing the alcohol tax would have the negative effects of increasing the number of underage drinkers and potential alcoholics while simultaneously crippling state treatment programs.
Health Care For All is a supporter of the “Vote No on 1” campaign because of the numerous benefits the alcohol tax provides to both individuals and the commonwealth as a whole. For more information, check out the Committee Against Repeal of the Alcohol Tax website: NoOn1MA.com.