Alcohol Taxes and Excessive Drinkers

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Alcohol Taxes and Excessive Drinkers

There are many contrary opinions on increasing taxes on alcohol. Some believe it will discourage people from drinking, thus reducing the binge drinking rates and illnesses caused by alcohol. Others believe that it is unfair to those who do not drink often and those who do not earn much money. A study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease finds that these alcohol taxes would not disadvantage those who drink less and earn less.

The study, led by researchers at Boston Medical Center, finds that the heavy drinks would actually pay five times as much in alcohol taxes as the light drinkers. The largest tax on an alcoholic drink would be $0.25, which would cost those that drink less only an extra $10 per year. This was determined by the researchers calculating hypothetical alcohol tax costs in all 50 states by using data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, IMPACT Databank and the Alcohol Policy Information System.

The researchers hope that these new findings will help educate policymakers.