Letter: A sin tax for drinking alcohol as a revenue source?

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I watched and listened to the City Council meeting last Tuesday night, June 11. Desperately seeking revenue sources to fund the humungous pile of Capital Improvement Projects (CIPs) plus operation and maintenance costs, community services, etc., I didn’t hear anyone start a conversation about “sin taxes,” in this case, alcohol-serving establishments.

Maybe the fines from tickets for open container violators, plus DUIs?

I wondered how many drinks are sold by our bars or alcohol-serving restaurants per year.

Since they often abuse our police department’s time for various complaint calls, create nuisances near these businesses, are often loud and obnoxious in our local favorite spots and jeopardize our lives when they get behind the wheel, maybe add 10% to libation costs, earmarked and deposited directly to the city?

Has anyone ever heard any of our council members deep dive that topic over the years, does anyone have any idea, any estimates on how much revenue that’d generate? Just wondering.

Roger Butow, Laguna Beach

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Butow, F.Y.I. ‘Generating Revenue” is dog-whistling MORE TAXES. You have to provide something that a customer wants to pay for, and make a profit, to “Generate Revenue”. What you describe is tax-and-spend Socialism. Been there, done that. No More. Cut the budget and shrink the machine that Laguna’s City Services has become.

  2. “. . . does anyone have any idea, any estimates on how much revenue that’d generate?”

    A 2016 Visit Laguna study estimated that restaurant revenues due to visitors were around $208,000,000 (not sure if that included bars). Increasing the sales tax on that by just 2% (which shouldn’t kill business for anybody) would have generated an extra $416,000 for the City budget that year.

  3. Mr. Farley’s: “Cut the budget and shrink the machine that Laguna’s City Services has become.”

    Thank you, I second that! Our growing City Services costs are not sustainable.

    We need to elect transparent and fiscally conservative City leaders who understand what living within our means actually means and who won’t forget to prioritize residents needs and preserve our community quality of life. Vote November 5, 2024!

  4. We can disagree about spending priorities and the need for more revenues, but the City has operated in the black and created reserve funds for as long as I can remember. If that isn’t fiscally responsible, what is?

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