In a completely believable display of Beacon Hill chutzpah, State Rep. Kay Khan (D-Newton) has submitted legislation to reinstate the extra alcohol tax even after voters repealed it last November. This should not come as a surprise because the legislature has done this to voter-enacted tax cuts as recently as 2002. In addition to her plans to dismiss the will of the voters she has a myriad of other tax increases:
Khan, who chaired the Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities last session, said she also intends to file legislation to increase the excise tax on alcohol, as well as a proposal to remove the sales tax exemption on candy and fruit drinks.
Khan may want to take a look at how sin taxes donít clearly curtail usage and actually hurt the poor more directly than others before talking about a "disconnect" with voters. Of course, itís not about services for the poor, itís about raising revenues from predominately poor people for government so it can provide services for the poor. Of course this phenomenon is nothing new as many states have set a dangerous precedent by attempting to balance their budgets with sin taxes.
Khan may want to consider, too, that when people of the Commonwealth voted to repeal the tax on alcohol they actually meant it and donít want it back. Instead of reinstating already dismissed taxes the legislature should legalize Happy Hour, drink specials, and, dare I say, Four Loko.
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