Letter to the Editor

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An Appeal to Vote No on Question 1

sent by William J. Dowd

I cannot come to sympathize with all small business owners moaning over less revenues flowing into their pockets throughout the Commonwealth, because of the alcohol-imposed tax, which will appear as ballot Question 1 on Nov. 2 for vote to repeal.

I can sympathize with small businesses residing on the North Shore, because of the New Hampshire state line effect, but this shouldn’t warrant making too haste a decision to repeal at a statewide level. Let us figure out how to leverage the impact this has had on North Shore businesses following the November election.

The function of this taxation is a proactive and reactive measure placed into effect, because of the societal implications of alcohol abuse. It in reality protects society, moreover, those most vulnerable to fall victim to the bottle, youth.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention cite that youth who consume are more likely to fall victim to unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected sexual activity; physical problems, such as hangovers and illness; changes in abnormal brain development that could overtime develop into long-term effects, which includes suffering from memory loss; and possibly the most horrific, death or causing that of others.

Youth having access to alcohol at or below the age of 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence later in life than those who begin consuming at or after the legal age of 21further cites the CDC.  Since the tax has been enacted attaining alcohol has been harder for young people, because of the cost equation.

We cannot forget about adult abusers struggling and recovering. Massachusetts is ranked alongside some of the top states with adult abuse problems, such as binge drinking and alcoholism.

Dedicated taxes like this one were revenues being garnered go to a particular cause; and in this case, our extra dollar and change, funds alcohol abuse programs and treatment centers across the state. Since August of 2009 the Massachusetts Department of Revenue has collected $97 million, and is expected to garner $110 million in 2011 due to the added tax.

We can continue to support our fellow women and men, by giving them a road to recovery through treatment; and to not do so, would be a disservice to the greater good.

Being cognizant that repealing will shift costs elsewhere, is important.  State funding will need to be increased in law enforcement, domestic violence services, in public health costs, and other human services.

As reported on Sunday by columnist Derrick Jackson, of the Boston Globe, he attributes a study released this month by the American Journal of Public Health.  The nationwide study found double tax on alcohol would cause 35 per cent fewer alcohol related deaths, 11 per cent fewer car accidents, a decrease in crime, and among other positive changes.

Deciding not to keep the tax will certainly do more damage than good. Repealing will not do away with alcoholism, binge drinking, and under-age drinking. Vote no on Question 1 Nov. 2.

Information on how to send your letters can be found here. E-mail is preferred.

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I find it ridiculous that the governments answer to everything is extort more money from the citizens…. I cant wait till this system totally crashes, big fat overeducated overfed nitwits shouldnt be deciding what to do with my money. leave that for me to decide… funny how they get caught going up to n.h. to buy their liquor and were supposed to support these quacks….. not I