Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Alcohol for Revenue

This was an article I wrote for the Union County News.

I have heard some talk lately about the possibility that our county will increase alcohol sales to raise revenue. In this economy we should certainly explore options that might increase revenue, but are we willing to compromise our standards to do it?

The state of Minnesota recently contemplated the same issue. Just last year the state put out a fact sheet to see how much revenue was brought in through the sale of alcohol, and it was a staggering $296 million.

But the interesting part came when they calculated how much the sale of alcohol cost them.

After they calculated the cost on the state from alcohol related homicide/suicide, falling and other accidents, drowning, cancer, liver disease, other chronic illnesses, vehicular accidents, unintended pregnancies, birth defects, and alcohol dependence programs, Minnesota found out that they paid out $5.06 billion because of alcohol sales.

That is 17 times the amount of “revenue” brought in by alcohol.

Increasing our venues that can sell alcohol may bring in money off the top, but it will cost us far more than we want to pay.

Source: http://www.health.state.mn.us/cdrr/alcohol/alcpdf/costfactsheet.pdf

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