The Legislature should pass the "dime a drink" alcohol tax proposed by Rep. Lisa Murkowski. Alcohol rehabilitation costs Alaska millions and even with the increase the alcohol industry would still not be paying its fair share.
When I served as an Alaska judge, Gov. Jay Hammond conducted a study that showed 80 percent of the police activities and over one-half of the criminal cases involved alcohol abuse.
The "dime a drink" tax meets the Hammond three-way test on economic activity: Do the people want it? Is it environmentally sound? Does it pay for itself? Certainly the people want it; there is an argument over how environmentally sound alcohol is, but it is very clear the alcohol industry is not paying its way. Alcohol abuse costs thousands of lives and costs society millions. A "dime a drink" is a reasonable start.
James C. Hornaday