Sample Letter

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Senator / Representative

Full Address (for the Senate, click here.  For the House, click here.)


Dear Senator / Representative _________ :

I am writing to ask that you oppose any reductions in federal excise taxes on alcoholic beverages, and decline co-sponsorship of bills promoted by the beer and liquor industries to substantially reduce excise taxes on those products (House beer-tax rollback bill H.R.
1306/S. 722 and any House or Senate bill that may be introduced to reduce beer or liquor taxes).  For the following reasons, such legislation is bad public health and fiscal policy:

  • Current federal and state taxes on alcoholic beverages donít come close to offsetting the public health and safety costs of alcohol consumption.  If anything, beer and liquor taxes should be raised to help meet prevention, treatment, law enforcement, and other costs associated with excessive and underage drinking.

  • By wide margins, the American public supports increases Ė not decreases Ė in alcohol taxes.  Thatís because more than 35% donít drink at all and among those who do, most drink so little that they would barely notice a tax decrease (or increase).  Alcohol tax cuts would benefit only producers and the 20% of drinkers who consume 85% of the alcohol.

  • Federal excise taxes on alcoholic beverages are low.  Because those taxes have been little adjusted for decades, the effective rate of taxation on those products has declined dramatically, decreasing real revenues and contributing to a fall in the price of alcoholic beverages relative to other products.

Lower alcohol taxes would only add to the deficit, cater to a prosperous industry, reward and encourage heavy drinking, and attract more young drinkers.  Please reject special-interest industry appeals to lower federal excise taxes on alcoholic beverages.  Please consider ways to raise them instead.



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Center for Science in the Public Interest

Alcohol Policies Project

1220 L St. NW, Suite 300

Washington, DC  20005

Phone: 202-332-9110 * Fax: 202-265-4954 * Web: