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Graham’s Alcohol Sales Tax Hike Appears Dead in Water

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT]borderstan.com and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

As we reported recently, Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) has proposed a significant increase in the District’s alcohol excise tax. It was designed to replace revenue that would have been generated by the Mayor’s one-hour bar alcohol service extension, which Graham opposed. Both proposals aim to eliminate a $172 million projected budget deficit.

Alejandra Owens

Looks like there won't be an additional tax on drinks at DC watering holes. (Alejandra Owens)

But as of late last week it appeared that Graham’s proposal was dead in the water. This turn of events was largely thanks to some strategic undermining by the hospitality industry, and even the mayor, who made a public push for his original budget proposal.

Councilmember David Catania (I-At Large) suggested implementing the mayor’s proposal temporarily and seeing whether it worked or not, saying the policy could be revisited if it proved to have the negative consequences some fear it would.

The Washington Blade’s Mark Lee notes the near-universal support of gay bar owners for the extension of alcohol service hours. Hardly newsworthy.

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- who has written 65 posts on Borderstan.

Alden covers local government and arts topics for Borderstan. He grew up all over the place (visited all 50 states!) but calls the District home and, as such, is a politics junkie and D.C. enthusiast. He advocates for good causes by day and is an artist and arts supporter by night. He’s also a DJ of questionable taste and ability. Contact him at alden@borderstan.com and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter. Check out his paintings at www.aldenleonard.com.

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