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Dedicated beer excise tax to fund alcoholism and substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery services


To examine the benefit of having a beer excise tax that provides funding to alcoholism and substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery services

Monday, December 15, 2008
10:00 AM
Assembly Hearing Room
250 Broadway
Room 1923, 19th floor
New York, New York

New York State currently is 41st out of 50 states with a beer excise tax of only 11 cents per gallon. This is roughly half the rate of 1991 when the tax was 21 cents per gallon. There are currently seven states with an alcohol excise tax dedicated to treatment including neighboring New Jersey. During these tough economic times and looming budget deficit that undoubtedly will lead to cuts in spending, it is time to consider an increase in the beer excise tax, and create a dedicated fund that would go towards chemical dependence treatment, prevention, and recovery services.

Please see the reverse side for a list of subjects to which witnesses may direct their testimony, and for a description of the bills which will be discussed at the hearing.

Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.

Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible. In the absence of a request, witnesses will be scheduled in the order in which reply forms are postmarked.

Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.

In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee's interest in hearing testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz
Member of Assembly
Committee on Alcoholism And Drug Abuse


  1. Besides generating revenue, what are the benefits to New York State for increasing the beer excise tax?

  2. What are the projected revenues based on the amount that the beer excise tax is raised? How should the revenue dedicated to fund alcoholism and substance abuse services be allocated?

  3. What are the current rates of taxation on the sale of beer, how has that rate changed over time, how much money is collected from such taxes, what is it currently used for?

  4. In examining the states with an alcohol excise tax dedicated to treatment, what has been the impact on the state's ability to provide services? Has it allowed these states to increase capacity and access of services for individuals in need of treatment? Are there currently any research outcomes or studies that show the impact within these states?

  5. Overall, what is the public support for an increase in the alcohol tax? Is there support for dedicating a portion of the revenue created from an increase in the beer tax towards treatment for alcoholism and substance abuse?

  6. Legislation has been introduced, A10218, whose purpose is to amend the tax law and the state finance law in relation to the imposition of an excise tax on the sale of alcoholic beverages to fund chemical dependence services. Are there amendments that could be made to this legislation that would better address the needs of New York State and service providers?

  7. Addressing the needs of New Yorkers suffering from alcoholism is a primary mission of OASAS. Does the agency feel it would benefit from an increase in funding? If OASAS were to have access to a dedicated fund how would it utilize this revenue?

  8. If a proposal to raise the tax on beer were enacted, would OASAS support that? Would OASAS support the deposit of monies raised by the taxation of beer into such a fund?


Persons wishing to present testimony at the public hearing on a Dedicated Beer Excise Tax to Fund Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services are requested to complete this reply form as soon as possible and mail it to:

Willie Sanchez
Legislative Associate
Assembly Committee on Alcoholism And Drug Abuse
Room 522 - Capitol
Albany, New York, 12248
E-mail: sanchezw@assembly.state.ny.us
Phone: (518) 455-4371
Fax: (518) 455-4693

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