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Higher Taxes Could Raise Alcohol Prices [AUDIO]

Beer pouring into glass
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ST. CLOUD — If a current proposal passes, you may notice a higher tab the next time you visit a bar or liquor store.

A new bill is being debated in the Minnesota legislature that would hike taxes on beer, wine and liquor in the state for the first time since 1987.

The proposal would raise the price of a barrel of beer from $4.60 to $16.17 and raise wine prices by four cents a glass.

Eric Finneman is the owner of Nick’s Discount Liquor in St. Cloud. He says the tax increases could change consumer behavior.

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Finneman says that added costs will likely get passed along to consumers through higher prices.

The additional revenue would go towards funding treatment programs, drug courts and other support groups.

Jim Forsting is the director of Recovery Plus for CentraCare. He says the money could go a long way to helping those who suffer from  addiction.

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Forsting says alcohol continues to be the largest abused substance.

The new revenue could also provide relief to local counties and law enforcement, who currently shouldering a large portion of the cost of detainment and detox services.

The bill is authored by Democrat Karen Clark of Minneapolis.

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