Medicine/Healing

Oregon Health Authority seeks tax increase on alcohol, cigarettes

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In a state renowned for hoppy IPAs and fruit-forward pinot noirs, alcohol-related deaths have climbed about 38 percent since 2001, according to the Oregon Health Authority … Nearly 2,000 people died from alcohol overuse in the state in 2016, making it Oregon’s third most common cause of preventable death.

The state also has some of the lowest alcohol taxes in the country, according to the Health Authority. Beer taxes remain at the same level they were in 1977 and the rate for wines was last changed in in 1983. “In real terms, beer and wine taxes fall every year because they do not keep up with inflation,” the Health Authority’s budget proposal states. The proposal includes automatic tax increases to account for inflation … The agency said the tax increase would reduce by $287 million a year  costs “related to lost productivity and absenteeism, premature death, health care, crime, motor vehicle crashes and fetal alcohol syndrome.”

Original Article (Salem Reporter):
Oregon Health Authority seeks tax increase on alcohol, cigarettes
Artwork Fair Use: USFWS – Pacific Region

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