Maryland Alcohol Tax Proposal: 568 Percent Increase

A proposal before the Maryland State Legislature calls for a 568 percent increase in the state’s excise tax on alcohol, raising it to $10.03 per gallon. Distilled spirits prices would rise 21 percent, and more than $281 million would be lost by the state’s retailers, along with 4,700 hospitality jobs, according to analysis by the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS).

“When the state hospitality industry is already struggling, this is the wrong time, the wrong tax and the wrong people to punish with increased alcohol taxes,” said DISCUS vice president Jay Hibbard while testifying against the bill.  “Legislators should be working to protect Maryland jobs, not forcing hundreds of people out of work with misguided tax hikes.”

An item in the Virginia State Legislature’s budget calls for a 2 percent increase in the mark-up on distilled spirits, a move DISCUS calls a “stealth tax.” The increase would be the 12th price hike on Virginia spirits drinkers since 1979.

For more information on being active in the debate over increased alcohol taxes, please visit


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