A bill passed the Utah House Thursday that would require cities and towns to use some beer tax revenue on alcohol treatment and prevention programs.
Forty percent of the money generated from beer and alcohol sales goes to municipalities in Utah and only about four percent of that money is spent on programs that combat underage drinking. Cache County Republican Representative Jack Draxler wants to change that.
“House Bill 40 simply says that of the beer tax revenue that goes to cities and counties we would require that at least 10 percent of that be used for prevention programs,” says Draxler.
When Draxler’s bill was first introduced during an interim session, it included a tax increase. Now the legislation just mandates how a portion of that revenue would be spent. But even without more taxes attached, Weber County Republican Gage Froerer says the bill still goes too far.
“This is really a mandate from the state that we think, or that we’re telling these political subdivisions what is best and how the how they should run their particular city or county, when in fact in my opinion, we should allow the cities and counties to make that determination,” says Froerer.
Draxler’s bill passed the House with broad support on a vote of 64-6. It now moves to the Senate for consideration.