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TASC See Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime

TAX LAWS AND ALCOHOL The first internal revenue measure adopted by the U.S. Congress, in 1790, was an excise tax on domestic whiskey; a subsequent increase in that tax from 9 to 25 cents per gallon led to an armed insurrection by the farmers of western Pennsylvania during the summer of 1794, the so-called Whiskey Rebellion.

This matter of the appropriate level for alcoholic beverage taxes has remained contentious to this day; although there is consensus that alcoholic beverages should be subject to higher taxes than other commodities, substantial disagreement remains concerning the appropriate level for such taxes. The principal impetus for raising tax rates has always been the quest for increased government revenue. Since the 1970s, however, increasing attention has been paid to the public health benefits of alcohol taxes, as research has demonstrated that raising the excise tax rates, and hence the prices of alcoholic beverages, reduces traffic fatalities and other costly consequences of alcohol abuse.

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