States That Charge for Harm
Marin Institute has identified 20 states that specifically earmark funds collected from the sale of alcoholic beverages to programs that address problems associated with alcohol use. Funds are collected through taxes or statutorily imposed mark-ups on alcoholic beverages in control states. The idea that states should “charge for harm” from alcohol sales or consumption is a common practice in the United States, as it is codified and practiced in 20 states.Summary of Findings
Twenty states have programs that allocate funds collected through taxes or state mark-up on alcoholic beverages. The funds are directed in one or more of the following ways: Education or prevention of problems associated with alcohol use (12 states); enforcement or administration of the state’s alcohol control laws (7 states); and treatment or rehabilitation for people with alcohol or other drug problems (12 states).
Three states allocate money in ways that do not directly fit these categories. In Mississippi and Tennessee, the money is currently allocated to general mental health programs after previously being used for specific alcohol abuse programs. In New Mexico the monies are used to fund new, innovative, or model programs, in addition to programs to prevent drunk driving.
In a majority of the states that charge for harm, the amount of money allocated to programs varies from year to year. In these states funding is tied to sales, and is either a specific percentage of the overall money collected, or a specific tax rate applied to the sales of alcoholic beverages. Only three states (New Jersey, Ohio, and Utah) allocate a specific amount of money each year. One state, Iowa, allocates a fixed amount plus a percentage of money collected from sales.
Three states (Alaska, Kentucky, and West Virginia) do not automatically dedicate the funding: it needs to be authorized by the legislature before the money is allocated, or the legislature may use the money for other purposes. In Iowa, a portion of its funding must be authorized, while the other portion is dedicated.
The idea that states should “charge for harm” from alcohol sales or consumption is a common practice in the United States, as it is codified and practiced in 20 states.
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Table: States That Charge for Harm
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