Support recovery groups by increasing tax on beerFeb 2, 2017 Ron Warpness, Riverton
Well here it is another new year, our legislature is in session trying to deal with an economy that is having a tough time, much through the efforts of President Obama and his "war on coal."
We have a wonderful Center of Hope that is struggling to deal with the alcohol problems in our county. They are in the middle of a needed building expansion that is very modest when you consider the need. We recently had a new volunteer program open called the Eagles Hope.
It is planned to be transitional housing for individuals and families, many of whom are suffering from the effects of drug and alcohol abuse. This is a 501©3 nonprofit organization that is basically created by and through the donations of our local community. It would not even be in existence if not for a large donation by the local Methodist Church.
Through all of these local needs (I am sure the same is true in other communities) our elected leaders continue to ignore a new revenue stream that should be helping with this problem, especially at a time when they are willing to "hit" education with cuts in the form of class size and school consolidation to save money.
I am, of course, "singing the same song" that I sang for four years while I was the Mayor of Riverton. At that time the economy was much better, but even though the need was just as great the will was not there.
Perhaps with the budget crunch it will help our leaders see the need to raise the tax on beer.
At 2 cents per gallon the State of Wyoming has the lowest tax in the nation on beer, and given the above needs, raising it is a "no brainer." The tax on one cigarette (not pack) is more than on a case of beer. Or, to look at it another way, it would take the tax on 133 cases of beer to equal the tax on one carton of cigarettes. Does this make any sense?
I agree that this tax will not raise a great deal of money, but to these programs it can mean the difference between life and death, and a few thousands more can mean keeping the doors open or closing them to those in need.
Come on legislators, let's show some courage and do what is right for our citizens and not listen to the alcohol lobby like you did last time.