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, 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 Article courtesy of the Wisconsin State Journal, Sunday Opinion column, March 24, 2013