Every second, give or take, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors think of some new tax that will ruffle the feathers of its citizenry. Here's one folks are savoring like a fat Jolly Rancher: Supervisor John Avalos has proposed a booze tax as a means to payback the $17.7 million (or $18.1 million, per SF Appeal) "San Francisco spends yearly on emergency room visits, prevention programs, a sobering center, Fire Department ambulance transports and other costs linked to excessive drinking."
What does that mean for social drinkers like you? According to Eater, "the proposed fee will translate roughly to an additional 3 cents on a 12-ounce bottle of beer, 4.5 cents on a 6-ounce glass of wine and 3.5 cents on a standard cocktail."
Defending his idea, Avalos wrote a piece in today's Chron ("A nickel per drink will recoup medical costs of alcohol"), part of which reads:
The Alcohol Cost Recovery Fee I now have proposed will allow San Francisco to recoup previously un-reimbursed costs for alcohol-related services. To establish the fee, the city had to commission an extensive study to measure these costs. The study, which was conducted by an independent research firm, found that alcohol costs the city $17.7 million in ambulance, treatment, prevention and hospital services. This figure does not even include police and other nuisance costs to the city from excessive drinking.
One thing I have learned is that during these hard times, the San Franciscans who are most affected by the economic crisis are those who need our public safety net more than ever. With our ongoing budget deficits, San Francisco taxpayers call on us to be more innovative. This fee is a strong remedy.
Oh, and the alcohol fee will not be read at today's BOS meeting expected. Probably later in the week or next Tuesday. Until then, cheers.