Thursday, April 3, 2008

Drinkers: State's Source of Revenue

South Dakota recently saw the end of a brief movement to increase drink taxes for the state, a good thing really. The proposal was dubbed the "dime-a-drink" tax, for obvious reasons (they wanted to raise taxes on alcohol a dime per drink in bars) and the backers simply couldn't find a way to convince residents it was for their own good. I'm not going to make a huge post of this, I've got places to be soon, but there was a quote in here that should strike you all in some manner.

This comes from a SD county commissioner, Carol Twedt (sorry, didn't see what county):
"I'm almost tempted to say you'll never hear the words 'liquor tax' out of my mouth again," she said. "We need to find a source of revenue, though."
Did you catch that? Did I misread or misunderstand that? Did people who frequent bars for an after-work drink suddenly become a "source of income"? Now, the sentiment doesn't surprise me, but the blunt nature of the statement certainly does. What's more, with that clear message given by an official, how does that hit you?

With states across the country facing budget hurdles and shortcomings I think we'll see more and more elected officials viewing you and me in just that light, a source of revenue. If your state is in the process of trying to correct their budgets, you will do well for yourself to keep tabs on who the officials look to place the burden of their shortcomings on. I don't think South Dakota will be the last state to see us as an easy fix for their bloated budgets. Here in California we already know that the Marin Institute is selling us as a viable revenue stream, how about where you live?