The last time Wisconsin’s beer tax was raised, Neil Armstrong was walking on the moon. Wisconsin’s beer tax is the second lowest in the nation. A few years ago when Rep. Terese Berceau (D-Madison) asked lawmakers to consider supporting a bill to raise the beer tax in Wisconsin, it received little support, opposition stating that raising the beer tax is unlike when we raised the cigarette tax because there isn’t a public health risk to someone enjoying a beer. Hmmm. According to Sunday’s Wisconsin State Journal, excessive alcohol use in Wisconsin in ONE SINGLE YEAR results is: *1,529 premature deaths *48,578 hospitalizations *60,221 arrests *5,721 motor vehicle crashes
I would agree those numbers do not represent a public health risk...no, in fact what it does represent is a public health crisis. Add to that greater health care costs, substance abuse treatment, law enforcement, incarceration and other expenses and Wisconsin has a public health risk that is costing our state government nearly $3 billion per year. I applaud the Wisconsin State journal for bringing the article to our attention. Let us know what you think; should the state raise its tax on alcohol to help combat the causes and effects of alcohol abuse?
To view the article, please visit http://bit.ly/X5qj8L Article courtesy of the Wisconsin State Journal, Sunday Opinion column, March 24, 2013