As a citizen concerned about the effects of alcohol on our youth, I am advocating for a “no” vote on Question 1. In an effort to prevent the use of alcohol by our youth, I am willing to pay a few pennies more on beverages.
When I read about youth who have been the victims of an alcohol-related incident, I have to wonder why beverage companies – most from out of state – are spending $3 million on an ad campaign to convince people “a penny saved is a penny wise” for Maine.
According to the Journal of Law and Economics, a 10 percent increase in the price of beer will reduce the number of heavy youth drinkers by 15 percent. When we think of taxes, some fear this will mean an incredible amount of money. The tax will be less than 3 cents for a bottle of beer (Maine brewers are exempt), 4 cents for a can of soda and 7 cents for a bottle of wine. Are we really going to notice this increase?
When we raised taxes on cigarettes, many quit and positively increased their health outcomes and the health outcomes of those affected by secondhand smoke. Just think what a few pennies will do for our youth, our state and our health!