Democrat Feliz Ortiz is proposing a 25 cent surcharge on all alcoholic beverages sold in New York state. The reason for the surcharge would be to raise money for treatment and prevention programs. The result of the plan would be an increase in the cost of a six pack by $1.50 and a case by six dollars. Ortiz believes that if the bill is passed, it would raise $800 million a year.
I have to believe that the reason for Mr. Ortiz proposing this bill has something to do with his own personal and political agenda. While I feel that alcohol and drug abuse are serious problems and need to be addressed, I do not think that Ortiz's motives are extremely pure. This proposal is not the way to go about solving the problem. First of all, the majority of people buying craft beer are buying it for enjoyment, not because they have a problem. Second of all, if this bill passes, it will be extremely difficult to afford craft beer in New York State. The combination of the hop shortage and this Democrat's bill would push the price of an average NY craft 6 pack up to around $10. I can only hope that government realizes that this bill is ridiculous and that it is shot down. If the bill get close to passing we have to hope that Ortiz is discovered to be one of the Clients #1-8 in the Emperor's Club prostitution ring.