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Alcohol tax plan wins approval in CA's Senate.

Alcohol tax plan wins approval in CA's Senate

The California Senate last week approved, by a 30-4 vote, Assembly Constitutional Amendment 38 (ACA 38), a proposal giving voters the opportunity to increase the tax on alcoholic beverages. Should the Assembly concur with changes made in ACA 38 by the Senate, it will be on the November 1990 ballot for voter approval.

According to Sen. Alfred Alquist (D-San Jose), "ACA 38 is a fair and reasonable tax increase on alcoholic beverages. It is a far better approach than the extremist proposal - the Alcohol Tax Proposition - that will also appear on the November 1990 ballot."

The proposed tax would raise nearly $200 million annually by increasing the tax on beer and wine to 20 cents per gallon and the tax on spirits to $3.30 a gallon. In contrast, the tax on wine and beer and distilled spirits under the competing ballot issue, the Alcohol Tax Proposition, would jump twice the national average.

All of the money raised by ACA 38 would go into the state's General Fund, with more than 40 percent going to K-14 public education because of voterenacted Proposition 98. The rest of the money would be allocated to local law enforcement, drug and alcohol treatment programs, trauma centers, mental health and other programs which the Legislature determines are in need.

"Under the Alcohol Tax Proposition, all of the money goes to a few select government programs - whether they need the money or not," said Sen. Ken Maddy (R-Fresno). "What's more, these few privileged programs are guaranteed annual budget increases every year - forever. These budget escalators must come from the state's General Fund, which means we will be forced to cut back on other programs, or to increase sales or other taxes."

Sen. Alquist said these automatic budget increases for the government programs mandated in the initiative could amount to $2.35 billion by the year 2000 - a 100-percent increase over what these programs now receive.
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Title Annotation:California
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Jun 18, 1990
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