Maryland’s sales tax on alcohol could soon be going up.
After hours of debate, a House committee passed a bill late Saturday night that supports a hike from 6% to 9% percent.
Originally, the tax was supposed to be phased in over three years. But in the bill's current form, that additional charge will come all at once, at the start of the next fiscal year.
Democratic supporters said the money would go to school improvements and developmentally disabled. Some Republicans argue the rate hike will hurt small businesses.
Alcohol suppliers do not like the proposal, and in a letter to Maryland lawmakers, said that such a tax would hurt cross-border business. "Many of Maryland's out-of-state customers will simply stay home to avoid the state's new layer of taxation," wrote representatives from the Distilled Spirit Council of the United States, the Beer Institute, and the Wine Institute, the A.P. reported.
Maryland's Senate has already passed the bill. It's now up for a full House vote. But it must pass before the session ends Monday night.