Commentaries Government

Letter: Oppose the Proposed 2% Alcohol Tax

The following letter is from John McDonnell, North End / Waterfront resident and Managing Director International, Fifth Generation, Inc., Home of Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

I am writing  because I want to make sure that everyone in our neighborhood is aware of the fact that Boston City Councilors Bill Linehan and Frank Baker have proposed a new 2% tax on ALL alcohol sales in the City of Boston. I suggest that readers act now by calling and emailing all city councilors, starting with Councilor Sal LaMattina, to tell them that you are opposed to this new tax.

Below are a few points:

-Nearly 50% of the average cost of a bottle of spirits sold in the City of Boston goes to pay taxes.

-Our local liquor stores and restaurants will be at a competitive disadvantage due to this tax increase. This tax will encourage city residents and tourists to spend their money outside the city limits.

-The City of Boston has collected nearly $120 million in food and beverage taxes with the imposition of the local option sales tax established in 2010.

-When beverage alcohol taxes are raised, it is the working poor who are most affected. Over one-third of all beverage alcohol consumers (spirits, beer, wine) come from households having income of less than $50K.

Thank you for your assistance.

City Council General Line—617-635-3040

John welcomes commentaries on community issues via email to Opinions are those solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of or other writers on this site.  Comments or responses to this commentary can be posted below in the comment section.

2 Replies to “Letter: Oppose the Proposed 2% Alcohol Tax

  1. The local alcohol lobby opposes the proposed tax. But they will not complain about getting many addicts off the street, which the tax is designed to do. In fact, liquor stores are common targets for holdups. The people of Boston will not complain about less crime either. “Op-Ed: The Pathway to Recovery for Boston” is listed under Related Posts. It details the benefits that the funding would provide. I urge you to read it.

    “Nearly 50% of the average cost of a bottle of spirits sold in the City of Boston goes to pay taxes.” What the letter does not say is that a hefty portion of that figure includes taxes such as real estate and payroll taxes, which non-alcohol businesses also pay. It also includes federal taxes.

    Massachusetts has no sales tax on alcohol. It has a low excise tax. A 6.25% sales tax would actually be a higher tax on alcohol than the state excise tax. The excise tax on 12 12-ounce bottles of beer is 12¢. The excise tax on a 750ml bottle of hard liquor is 80¢. In contrast, a pack of cigarettes is subject to both a 6.25% state sales tax and state excise tax of $3.51.

    1. Barry, the State of Massachusetts has been referred to as TAXACHUSETTS, and the City is doing a great job with
      keeping up with the State.

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