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Graham’s Alcohol Sales Tax Hike Appears Dead in Water

by Borderstan.com — May 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm 0

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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