Cents Extra: New Tax On Beer And Wine?
From Nowy Dziennik
April 9, 2002
By Bozena Chojnacka
The City Council met on Monday to debate ways to fill the $4.8
billion budget gap that the City of New York is faced with. One
of the proposals was a 10 percent increase in tax on beer and wine,
which would bring extra revenue of $30 million a year.
A few weeks ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a tax increase
on cigarettes. If the proposal gets implemented, a pack of cigarettes
may cost up to $7.
Although the city does impose taxes on alcohol 25 cents
on a license to sell alcohol, 12 cents per gallon of beer and 26.4
cents per liter of alcoholic beverages distributed by distributors
- it has never imposed taxes on beer and wine that are directly
sold to customers.
"Its not a surprise that after a tax on cigarettes comes
an increase in tax on wine and beer," said Beata Kalita, the
owner of Delicatessen at 984 Manhattan Ave. in Greenpoint. "Many
people buy cigarettes and store them, or they buy them on the Internet.
Unfortunately, they dont sell beer on the web. I dont
think the tax increase will discourage people from drinking, just
like the tax on cigarettes wont discourage people from smoking.
In my store we only sell beer or, as my customers call it, the "thinner."
If they want something stronger, they have to go to the liquor store
across the street."
Irena Mazurczak, who works at Polam meat market in Greenpoint neither
drinks beer nor smokes cigarettes, but she knows those who will
be affected by the new tax: the drunkards who come to her store
on Sunday morning, begging her to sell them a bottle of beer. "Perhaps
they will drink less," she said.
For Wieslaw Kubicki, just like for Mazurczak, the tax raise wont
make any difference. He likes Heineken, but goes to New Jersey three
times a week, so if he wants he can shop there.
Janek from Greenpoint believes that the beer and wine tax will
make an impact only on alcoholics. "As always, the weakest
ones will suffer the most," he said.
Besides the tax on "sins", the City Council is considering
other ways of filling the budget gap. Some of the presented proposals
are: the property tax, selling 500 additional taxi license plates,
which cost $200,000 each, and charging for the Emergency Medical
Translated from Polish by Joanna Sufin.
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