Letter to the Editor

No to the alcohol sales tax increase

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed 2 percent tax increase on all alcohol sales in the City of Boston. Below I have listed just a few reasons why I am against this proposal.

-Nearly 50 percent 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.

John McDonnell

Managing Director International

Fifth Generation, Inc.

Home of Tito’s Handmade Vodka

1 comment for “Letter to the Editor

  1. Barry Clark
    July 6, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    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. The bill’s sponsors wrote “Op-Ed: The Pathway to Recovery for Boston” about the proposal. I urge you to read it. It is at

    “Nearly 50 percent 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.

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