Early this week the Massachusetts state senate approved the increase of the state sales tax from 5% to 6.25%. That alone is upsetting given the level of taxation that the citizens of Massachusetts are already subjected to and the way some of the tax funds are spent. But how about this… alcohol sales tax has now increased from 0% to 6.25%. That’s because alcohol sales were until now exempt from sales tax at the register. This exemption has now been removed. Just like that, my $16 bottle of Chardonnay went up by 6.25% to $17, obviously decreasing my wine’s quality to price ratio besides other negative impacts to Travessia as a business.
Some may argue that it’s only fair that alcohol gets taxed like everything else. But here is the problem... Massachusetts lawmakers won't tell you this, but there is already a tax on alcohol!
Wineries for example pay a tax for producing wine to both the Federal and State government. What do you think that we the wineries do with this tax? We factor it into our pricing. In the end, the consumer pays for it. Now with another 6.25% added on top... I think we call this double taxation.
I understand and agree that we have social responsibilities and must pay taxes. I've always paid my taxes as a citizen and as a business owner. Not a single penny goes under the table. But where do we stop? Why 6.25% and not 8%? 10%? 15%
To finish, this is a quote from a Boston Globe article on May 20th (Find the entire article here)
<<The alcohol tax was approved with support from lawmakers who said it would raise $15 million to ameliorate what they described as a heroin epidemic in Massachusetts. "When we have an addict, we'll have a bed for them," said Senator Steven A. Tolman, a Boston Democrat. "This money will help us put these beds on line.">>
Like many, my work day begins at 6AM and ends the following day... So that heroin addicts can have a bed to sleep in?
UPDATE on May 22nd - 1PM: Just found out about this... maybe I should just give it up right now: Proposed US alcohol tax increases