Alcohol tax hike makes it through

Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2002

JUNEAU -- An increase in the state's alcohol tax has officially made it through the Legislature.

The House on Tuesday agreed to go along with changes the Senate made in a bill increasing the excise tax on alcohol by about 7 cents a drink.

The Senate approved the measure on Monday. It will bring the total excise tax to an average of 10 cents a drink.

The Senate added language expressing the Legislature's intent to use 50 percent of the money for drug and alcohol treatment. The House agreed to accept that language.

The Legislature cannot dedicate money for a particular purpose, so there is no guarantee future lawmakers will spend the money for that purpose.

Gov. Tony Knowles is expected to sign the bill, which will bring in about $20 million in additional revenues a year.

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