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Kurtis Guderjahn, Fargo, Published June 01 2013

Letter: Increase taxes on what is harmful

No one can tolerate tax increases, but how about a tax increase on a potentially harmful drug such as alcohol? Many people will exaggerate the negative effects of an alcohol tax increase and completely omit some of the benefits, some of which are very constructive to a community. For these reasons, I support a substantial alcohol tax increase.

First, who do these tax increases most effect? The higher tax effects liquor store owners all along the North Dakota-Minnesota border. The shutting down of all these businesses (which is one of the exaggerated claims by opponents) would have a minuscule impact on the state’s economy (not to ridicule liquor store owners), but what of the other bordering states?

Minnesota has a relatively low tax on beer and wine as indicated by the Federation of Tax Administrators, so evidently a tax increase would not have much of an effect along Minnesota’s other borders.

Then there are the medical benefits, of course, as it is often seen that health care costs are inversely proportional to alcohol tax increases. Taxing more on alcohol can also help create and preserve jobs for alcohol users. It is definitive that the tax increase would be regressive (same could be said for many forms of taxation) but is no more regressive than the tobacco taxes, according to the Department of Revenue’s Tax Incidence Study.

If one greatly advocates the welfare of others, then supporting a tax increase would be of best interest to him/her. This applies to me, and therefore, I support this.