Boston City Council Bill Linehan and Councilor Frank Baker have recently filed a petition and will reintroduce their proposal to fund addiction recovery efforts through a 2% tax on all alcohol sold in the City of Boston. The tax is designed to generate more than $20 million specifically for pathways to recovery with the hope of leading to an increase in the effectiveness of long-term treatment.
Last year, the councilors held hearings on the proposed tax but did not formally bring the petition to council vote due to lack of support. According to a recent article in the Boston Globe, Baker and Linehan are hoping to prevent opposition by releasing a detailed list of what could be accomplished with the raised funds from the tax including 24-hour addiction outreach coordinators, city shelters and therapeutic support.
The article goes on to say that Linehan believes that most people would not mind paying 2% more for alcohol if it’s going to help a greater cause like the opioid crisis in the city. Back in 2010 however, 6.25 % tax on liquor store sales by the state (Question 1) was repealed by voters with more than 50 percent of the vote.
No surprise, MA Package Stores Association and Massachusetts Restaurant Association are opposed to the new alcohol tax. Baker and Linehan hope that a City Council vote will take place this fall.
What do you think, Southie?