November 18, 2014

TAXING SIN:

Alcohol Taxes May Give Boost to Public Health, Economy (Robert Preidt, Nov. 18, 2014, HealthDay News)


"Money not spent on alcohol, coupled with the newly raised tax revenues, will be spent on other goods and services which will create jobs in non-alcohol sectors, offsetting any losses experienced in alcohol sectors," study author Frank Chaloupka, professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in an association news release.

According to Chaloupka's team, excessive drinking causes about 88,000 deaths a year in the United States and cost the nation $223.5 billion in 2006, or $1.90 per drink. In contrast, total federal and state taxes on alcohol in 2006 totaled only about 12 cents per drink.

Heavy drinkers pay more alcohol taxes -- for example, 82 percent of the total in Louisiana, 80 percent in Texas and 77 percent in California -- than light drinkers. Chaloupka reasoned that any increase in alcohol taxes might help reduce heavy drinkers' alcohol consumption.

And while critics of higher alcohol taxes say such a move would cause job losses, the new study suggests that the opposite is true.

"This new research suggests this argument is not only false, but that alcohol taxes can actually lead to more jobs," Chaloupka said.

Posted by at November 18, 2014 1:47 PM
  

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