Maryland Alcohol Sales Tax Decreases Consumption
Many states have considered raising taxes on alcohol in hopes of reducing consumption, however few have done so. In July 2011, Maryland raised its alcohol sales taxes from 6 percent to 9 percent. This increase actually led to less sales of alcohol beverages, according to a study published in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.
The study was led by researchers at the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In order to get accurate results, the researchers compared the alcohol sales figures from 18 months before the tax increase to the sales figures from the 18 months after the sales increase. They found that there was an average 3.8 percent decrease in total alcohol sales. Liquor sales decreased 5.1 percent, beer sales decreased 3.2 percent and wine sales decreased 2.5 percent.
The researchers state that the decreasing alcohol sales means there is now less alcohol consumption in Maryland due to this tax increase.